If you’ve ever had a chipped, cracked, or ground down tooth you know how frustrating it is to look in the mirror and see that flaw in your smile. While there are many ways of helping to restore your teeth to their former glory, preventative medicine is often the best way to prevent issues from arising in the first place. Of all the dental devices out there, one that’s often overlooked is the humble mouthguard. Mouthguards, which are plastic shields that protect the mouth and gums, are an important part of many people’s dental treatment plans. These devices help to prevent damage to the teeth from both traumatic injuries and chronic conditions.

You’ve probably seen mouthguards most frequently on the playing field. Athletes playing soccer, football, and hockey are often seen wearing colorful mouthguards. Anyone who plays sports on a regular basis stands a lot to benefit by wearing an athletic mouthguard. These mouthguards are typically pretty cheap and are available at most pharmacies. For teenagers just starting their high school sports careers, these devices stand with their uniforms and cleats as essential items kids should have before taking their place on the field. While some teeth damage problems don’t apply to everyone, dental guards are a great option for anyone that plans on joining a sports team. High impact individual sports, such as boxing and wrestling, also warrant the use of mouthguards by players.

Off the field, dental care still sometimes calls for mouthguards. Bruxism patients should also consider mouthguards. In bruxism, patients suffer from habitual teeth grinding. These teeth grinding not only increases the risk of chipped teeth but wears down the patient’s enamel. Dental care for these patients involves custom mouthguards that are meant for overnight use. A qualified dental center like King Orthodontics can craft a custom dental mouthguard for you or your loved one. Not only will these prevent bigger orthodontic issues down the line, but a custom dental mouthguard may help to relieve problems stemming from teeth grinding, such as headaches and gum pain.

King Orthodontics, which is based out of Pittsburgh PA, is also well versed in bite and boil dental mouthguard creation. For this procedure, dental care experts use a bite guard coated with plastic. They soften the plastic, then have the patient bite into it, creating a custom mold right at the dental center. This type of dental mouthguard is great for patients whose teeth are still developing because they’re cheaper and faster to make than regular dental mouthguards.

If you’re looking to help prevent painful and unsightly dental damage, check in with a dental center like King Orthodontics before purchasing a mouthguard from a pharmacy. Custom mouthguards are great for patients with unique problems, and a certified orthodontist can provide the dental care options patients need better than a general pharmacist. Take care of your face’s most important feature- your smile. To find a professional dental center that can help you today.