Mouth Guards and Bite Appliances: What You Need to Know

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Mouth guards and bite appliances are important for maintaining the structural integrity of your teeth. Certain activities or habits in your lifestyle may put you at a higher risk for dental injury, making you a candidate for our mouth guards or bite appliances.

Below, we examine the differences between bite appliances and mouth guards, so you can determine which best fits your needs. If you think you would benefit from either a mouth guard or a bite appliance, don’t hesitate to bring it up during your next conversation with us.

Bite Appliances

Do you grind your teeth at night? Over time, this repetitive motion can cause damage to your teeth. If you are not sure if you are grinding your teeth at night, some common symptoms include jaw pain and headaches upon waking.

Over time, overnight teeth grinding can cause permanent damage to your smile. One solution is wearing a bite appliance.Our bite appliances are custom fit to your teeth so that you can feel as comfortable as possible.

While wearing a bite appliance might be seen as an inconvenience, at Kent Wildern, DDS we feel that protecting your smile is worth the hassle. By wearing your bite appliance nightly, you are safeguarding your teeth against surface damage that could grow into a larger issue. For example, clients with severe cases have had teeth fall out due to the pressure of teeth grinding. A bite appliance helps protect your teeth from these devastating effects.

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards, like oral sleep appliances, are meant to protect your teeth. The only difference is that a mouth guard will protect your teeth from being damaged while playing contact sports, such as football or ice hockey.

While athletes who play contact sports are the most likely candidates for our mouth guards, participants in noncontact sports may also reap benefits. There are many sports which do not fit under the category of contact sports but still pose a risk for oral injury. Mountain biking and ice skating are such examples.

Avoid having chipped, loose, or missing teeth in the future by asking one of our professional dentists if a mouth guard is right for you. We talk with you about what specific actions could cause dental damage and evaluate your risk.

There are many different types of mouth guards that we can prescribe to fit your oral needs and lifestyle, which are listed below:

  • Stock Mouth Protectors
  • Boil and Bite Mouth Protectors
  • Custom-fitted Mouth Protectors

We can discuss any of these mouth guards with you to help you determine which dental option is best for you. At Kent Wildern, DDS, we make it our mission to protect your teeth so you can feel secure during your next big game.

If you are interested in talking about if a mouth guard or bite appliance is appropriate for your situation, please feel free to call our Grand Rapids office at (616) 364-8716. At Kent Wildern, DDS, we are always happy to help our patients safeguard their oral health.