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Bite Guards

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What is a Bite Guard?

Bite guards are commonly referred to as mouthguards or bite splints.  Their purpose is to protect your teeth from fracture and may also prevent concussions and upper jaw from fractures.  Mouthguards are a crucial part of your equipment for playing any type of contact sport.  Custom fitted or OTC (over the counter) – there is no comparison.  Custom fitted mouthguards fit your teeth perfectly and therefore provide the best protection.

A bite splint is a device that is worn in the mouth overnight and it creates a barrier between your upper and lower to protect them from the damage that occurs from teeth rubbing against each other for extended periods of time.  Bite splints can also help to treat TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) and headaches caused by poor jaw and bite alignment.  There are many styles and designs available to assist with treatment.

Who uses Bite Guards?

Anyone engaged in activities that are at risk for facial trauma.  The face is arguably the most vulnerable area of the body during sports.  The 3 causes for the majority of facial trauma come from contact with another player, impact with the ground or floor, and impact with the sports equipment.

How is a custom Mouthguard made?

It is important to consider fit, function, and cleanability when choosing a mouthguard.  If a sports mouthguard does not fit well, it will become a chew toy rather than be worn on their teeth.  For this reason, the ideal sports mouthguard is custom fit, in the dental office by a dental professional.  This involves taking impressions of the mouth and sending the records to a lab to fabricate a custom-fitted mouthguard.  We have a digital scanner in our office.  If you have a severe gag reflex, we can digitally scan your mouth to prevent triggering your gag reflex.

The advantages of custom mouthguards?

There are 2 types of mouthguards – boil and bite that you can buy at your local pharmacy.  These do not fit well, they are bulky, difficult to keep in your mouth, and are the least desirable form of mouthguards.  Custom fitted mouthguards fit your mouth perfectly, and are far less bulky and more durable and comfortable.

How is a bite splint made?

Bite splints are custom fabricated to fit your mouth perfectly.  They are made of hard acrylic or type 12 nylon material.  At Mehan Dental, we have a digital scanner that can scan your mouth and send your digital file to our labs on the same day.  The labs usually require 2 weeks to make the bite splints.

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