American Health & Fitness Mouth Guards

American Health & Fitness Mouth Guards

S.O.S – Save Our Smiles Think you don’t need those pesky mouth guards or night guards?
Think again.

By Dr. Marc Lazare

AMERICAN HEALTH & FITNESS MOUTH GUARDSIt has been well stated that a smile is one’s greatest asset, yet it is not always safeguarded as such. Whether you have all natural teeth, or have just spent a small fortune restoring or cosmetically enhancing your smile, a mouth guard or a night guard may be the best way to look after your investment.

Although mouth guards and night guards have the same basic purpose – to protect your teeth – they are really two different types of appliances with two very distinct functions.

Mouth Guards

Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or just a participant in recreational sport activities, a mouth guard is a must have. Mouth guards are intended to protect not only the teeth and gums, but also your lips, cheeks, tongue, neck, brain, mandible (the lower jaw), and the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ).

Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Academy of Sports Dentistry recommend mouth guard use for anyone who engages in sports such as football, softball, racquetball, in-line skating, skateboarding, martial arts, boxing, acrobatics, bandy, cycling, discus equestrian sports, field hockey, ice hockey, handball gymnastics, lacrosse, motocross, rugby, skiing, shotput, skydiving, squash, surfing, trampoline, tennis, wrestling, weightlifting and water polo which all run the risk of mouth injuries.

There are several different types of mouth guards, each differing in price and quality. Stock mouth guards are a preformed, U-shape piece of rubber or vinyl that you hold between your teeth. It is inexpensive (and for a very good reason), as the fit is so poor that they are usually not recommended.Mouth-formed mouth guards are available at sporting good stores (as are the stock mouth guards), and they are a step up in quality. There are two types of mouth-formed guards: the boil and bite and the shell-liner. Boil and bite mouth guards are made from a reformable polymer material that you mold to your mouth by softening the guards in boiling water and then forming it in your mouth. The advantage of this type of guard is that it can be reformed. A shell-liner mouth guard is made by using a stock tray and a resilient liner material, which you bite into and wait for the material to harden. Unlike the boil and bite, you only have one chance to make it fit. The last class of mouth guards, and certainly the best, are the custom-fit mouth guards that are made by your dentist, impressions will be taken of your mouth, so that they can be made to fit precisely and comfortable.

Night Guards

A night guard (also known as an occlusal splint, a bite guard, and a muscle relaxation appliance) is a device most often recommended as the first line of treatment for bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMD (dysfunction of the TMJ).

It is usually worn while you sleep to prevent damaging your teeth by the clenching or grinding associated with either the psychological aspects of stress, one’s abnormal bite, a sleep disorder, or a combination of the above. Nightly wear significantly reduces daytime bruxism, because more sensitized, leading to a heightened awareness whenever the opposing teeth are in contact during abnormal function. A night guard can help reduce your grinding and TMJ troubles by: (1) helping to relax your jaw muscles, which in turn reduce muscle spasms; (2) alleviating your headaches; (3) enabling your jaw to find its best position, since teeth are prevented from locking together; and (4) substituting for your teeth when it comes to wear – it is better to grind the night guard than your own teeth.

Grinding can wear away the surfaces of your teeth causing them to become painful or loose. Although maxillary (upper arch) devices are recommended as the treatment of choice, a lower arch device is indicated when a patient objects to having acrylic visible, or when they have a severe gag reflex with the upper arch device.

Ill devised or poorly adjusted occlusal devices often do not succeed in resolving the problem. The device must be made properly, and maintained and adjusted (if necessary) on routine visits.

Final Thoughts

Quality mouth guards are relatively inexpensive, and can prevent injury and the need to costly dental restorative treatments. Naturally, the better quality the mouth guard, the more supportive it will be and the lower the risk of injury. However, the greatest risk of all is to not be wearing a mouth guard. As for night guards, it is not enough to simply wear one,

it must also be routinely checked and adjusted. Well adjusted night guards (and the acceptable restoration of affected teeth), will allow a patient the bruxism to live a normal life, without significant tooth wear or other dental-related traumas. Remember, we only get one set of adult teeth, so please protect your smile.

Why Choose the Office of Dr. Marc Lazare?

  • State-Of-The-Art Technology

    Advanced technology to take your dental care to the next level and make our environment safer for your health.

  • High-End & Top Quality Spa Experience

    Enjoy a comfortable spa-like environment with aromatherapy, your favorite movie or music, therapeutic eye mask and top-quality care.

  • An Expert in Biomimetic Dentistry

    We are one of the few offices in New York City to offer this revolutionary tooth conserving technique.

  • Services Available in English & Spanish

    We are able to help our patients by communicating in the language they are most comfortable with.

    Warm & Enthusiastic

    “From the minute I walk in Ilda and Ariel greet me with such a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Well, it just makes my day. Then there's Dr. Marc Lazare who sets the tone. He was so gentle and explained every step of the process so I wouldn't worry.”

    - Mimi
    Amazing Staff

    “Great experience with this amazing staff. The hygienist Therese was very gentle and made sure I was comfortable throughout my whole visit. Dr. Lazare was very thorough with my exam.”

    - Melanie
    All Things Needed for a Perfect Visit

    “Friendly reception always makes a first impression on me. The location is right off of Park Avenue 14th and had a really cool view of the city. The office was clean and modern, all things needed for a perfect visit.”

    - Thomas
    Top-Notch

    “Dr. Lazare and his team are top-notch. The team goes out of their way to accommodate and is proactive in their care. I highly recommend it.”

    - Shawn
    Beyond Outstanding!

    “Dr. Lazare and his team are beyond outstanding! He is professional, ethical, knowledgeable, empathetic, and kind. I’m eternally grateful to him!”

    - Monica
/

Contact Us

We Heal and Restore our Patients Beautiful and Natural Smiles Send us a message by filling out the form below.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.