Mouthguards are devices that are frequently recommended to be used to protect your teeth from grinding (also called bruxism) or clenching while sleeping or from injuries while you play sports. 

Many times, they are also extremely helpful in reducing snoring and providing relief from obstructive sleep apnea.

There are differences in mouthguards and discussing this with your family dentist is recommended. Basically, there are three types of mouthguards to use depending on the reason it is being used.

The most widely available at a very affordable price is the stock mouthguard. They are easily found at your sporting goods store and local pharmacy. Sizes for the stock mouthguard are small, medium, and large. These are primarily designed to cover your top teeth.

The biggest drawback from stock mouthguards is that their limited size options frequently make them uncomfortable to wear and do not provide a tight fit.

The “Boil and Bite” mouthguards are also easy to find and relatively inexpensive. They come in one size and by boiling the mouthguard until it is soft, you can customize it to fit your front teeth.  Once boiled, you place them on your front teeth and bite down to mold the mouthguard to fit your teeth.

Custom-made mouthguards are available at your family dental clinic.  Molds of your teeth are used to create a mouthguard specifically structured to your teeth and mouth.  This will provide a much better fit than the other two options mentioned above. Because they are customized, they fit better and more comfortable which makes them more suited to using while you sleep.  Wearing them while you sleep is recommended for problems like teeth grinding, sleep apnea and snoring.

The dental team at The Family Dental Center can answer all your questions on using mouthguards and can also customize one for you!

Contact the dental professionals at The Family Dental Center to discuss oral health issues and concerns. The Family Dental Center is located at 2781 Oakdale Blvd, Suite 3, Coralville, IA 52241. For additional information call 319-351-3414 or email

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