A mouth guard is also known as a mouth protector or mouth piece or gum shield or gum guard is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. These protectors are worn over teeth and most often used to prevent injury during sports, teeth grinding, as part of certain dental procedures, such as tooth bleaching etc,.
It is recommended that anyone who participates in an event where there is a chance of significant risk of injury should wear a mouth protector. Players of football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball are recommended to wear. Mouth guards are stiff, cushioned molds that fit closely over the upper teeth. They provide support and padding to the teeth and jaw if you take a blow to the face or head. They reduce the risk of broken or lost teeth and other mouth injuries such as lacerations in the inside of the mouth.
There are 3 types of mouth guards are there:
1) Stock mouth protectors.
2) Boil and bite mouth protectors.
3) Custom-fitted mouth protectors.
Stock mouth protectors are ready made and inexpensive protectors which are available in the sports departmental stores. These are very heavy to wear and have some some difficulties while talking and wearing. This will not give enough protection.
Boil and bite mouth protectors are also available at many sporting stores and may offer a better fitting than the stock mouth protectors. These protectors are made from thermoplastic material. Before using this protector, place it in the hot water to soften and then keep in the mouth and then biting on it to shape it.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are expensive and designed in a dental office by dentist for perfect fitting by taking perfect impression of your teeth and molded using a special material.