If you grind your teeth, clench your jaw, or play contact sports, custom-molded mouth guards can protect your teeth and prevent damage. At West End Dental in Downtown Washington, DC, Lauren Izadi, DDS, Edward Kim, MS, DDS, and the team use mouth guards to treat a variety of common oral health problems, including bruxism, clenching, and more. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.
Mouth guards are custom oral appliances that fit snugly over your teeth. They’re usually made of a durable thermoplastic and significantly lower your risk of tooth damage, including cracks, chips, and general wear-and-tear.
At West End Dental, the team provides custom mouth guards. Custom mouth guards are different from the mouth guards you buy at the store. They provide a better, more comfortable fit and more robust protection.
At West End Dental, the team offers several types of custom mouth guards, including:
Night guards, also known as occlusal guards, help to prevent tooth damage caused by tooth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep. Even if these habits don’t result in jaw pain or discomfort, they damage your tooth enamel. A night guard keeps your enamel healthy, lowering your risk of complications later on.
If you play contact sports like football, basketball, or hockey, or you participate in extreme sports like mountain biking, skateboarding, or skiing, you might benefit from a sports mouth guard. Sports mouth guards can significantly lower your risk of chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth. They also provide protection from falls or impacts to your mouth.
Getting a mouth guard begins with an in-office oral exam and consultation. During the appointment, your provider reviews your oral health history and asks about any symptoms you’re experiencing. The team also takes digital X-rays to determine the health and strength of your tooth enamel.
After gathering the necessary information, your West End Dental provider makes custom molds of your teeth and gums. These molds are sent to a dental laboratory that manufactures your mouth guard.
A week or two later, you return to West End Dental. You try on your new mouth guard and your provider makes adjustments as necessary.
If you want to keep your mouth guard in great shape for years to come, it’s important to clean and care for it regularly. The team at West End Dental recommends rinsing your mouth guard in cool tap water before and after each wear. You should also brush it once a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent the build-up of plaque or food particles.
When you aren’t wearing your mouth guard, put it inside of a protective case. This will ensure you don’t crack or damage it.
If you think you might benefit from wearing a mouth guard, schedule an appointment at West End Dental. Book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.