Why You Need a Mouthguard: Protection for Sports and Sleep

Are you an athlete or someone who frequently grinds their teeth while sleeping? If so, you may be exposing your teeth to potential damage and pain. A mouthguard can be a simple but effective solution to protect your teeth and improve your overall health. 


In this article, we will explore the benefits of mouthguards for both sports and sleep, and explain why they are essential for anyone engaging in physical activity or experiencing teeth grinding. From increased performance on the field to better sleep quality, the advantages of using a mouthguard are numerous. So, keep reading to learn more about this important protective tool.


Benefits of Mouthguards in Sports

Participating in sports comes with inherent risks, and dental injuries are common among athletes. A mouthguard is a simple but effective way to protect your teeth, tongue, and jaw from potential damage. 


Here are some of the benefits of wearing a mouthguard while playing sports:


Protection Against Injuries

A mouthguard acts as a cushion for your teeth and gums, reducing the risk of chipping, breaking, or losing a tooth. It also helps to prevent lacerations to the tongue and cheeks, and can protect against jaw fractures. 


In contact sports like football, basketball, and hockey, the risk of dental injuries is particularly high. By wearing a mouthguard, you can protect yourself and minimize the potential for long-term damage.


Enhanced Performance

Wearing a mouthguard can also improve your athletic performance. When your jaw is properly aligned, your body can perform more efficiently. A mouthguard can help reduce stress on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is responsible for jaw movement. This, in turn, can help reduce fatigue and improve overall performance.


Compliance With Regulations

In many sports, wearing a mouthguard is mandatory. In fact, some organizations have specific regulations regarding the type of mouthguard that must be worn. With a mouthguard, you not only protect yourself from potential injury but also comply with the rules and regulations of your sport. This can help you avoid penalties, fines, or even disqualification from competition.


Benefits of Mouthguards in Sleep

Do you frequently wake up with jaw pain or headaches? Do your teeth feel sensitive or loose? If so, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Teeth grinding, also known as “bruxism,” can cause a range of dental issues and impact your quality of sleep. A mouthguard is a simple but effective solution to protect your teeth and improve your overall sleep health. 


Here are some of the benefits of wearing a mouthguard while sleeping:


Protection Against Teeth Grinding

Mouthguards can prevent the damage caused by teeth grinding. By providing a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, a mouthguard can absorb the force of clenching and grinding, protecting your teeth from wear and tear. 


This can help prevent tooth sensitivity, fractures, and even tooth loss. In addition, a mouthguard can help to alleviate the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which can cause jaw pain, headaches, and earaches.


Reduced Snoring

Snoring can disrupt your sleep and impact your overall health. In some cases, a mouthguard can help reduce snoring. By positioning your jaw slightly forward, a mouthguard can help to keep your airway open, reducing the vibrations that cause snoring. This can lead to more restful sleep and a decrease in daytime sleepiness.


Improved Sleep Quality

Wearing a mouthguard can also improve the quality of your sleep. By reducing teeth grinding and snoring, a mouthguard can help you achieve deeper, more restful sleep. This can lead to increased energy, an improved mood, and better overall health.


Types of Mouthguards

Mouthguards are an essential piece of protective equipment for athletes and individuals who grind their teeth at night. There are three main types of mouthguards: stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. 


Here is a breakdown of each type:


Stock Mouthguards

Stock mouthguards are pre-formed and come in a range of sizes. They are the least expensive option and can be found at most sporting goods stores. However, they offer the least amount of protection and can be uncomfortable to wear. Since they cannot be adjusted, they often do not fit well, which can lead to difficulty breathing and speaking.


Boil and Bite Mouthguards

Boil and bite mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when boiled. They are then placed in the mouth and molded to the teeth by biting down. This type of mouthguard offers a better fit than stock mouthguards and is more comfortable to wear. However, they are still not as protective as custom-made mouthguards.


Custom-Made Mouthguards

Custom-made mouthguards are the most effective type of mouthguard. They are made by a dental professional who takes an impression of your teeth and creates a mouthguard specifically for your mouth. This type of mouthguard offers the best protection and is the most comfortable to wear. They are also the most expensive option and require a visit to the dentist.


How to Choose the Right Mouthguard

Choosing the right mouthguard is important for both protection and comfort. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right mouthguard:


Proper Fit

The most important factor to consider when choosing a mouthguard is proper fit. A mouthguard that does not fit properly will not provide the necessary protection and can even be a choking hazard. Look for a mouthguard that fits snugly over your teeth and does not shift around when you talk or breathe.



Mouthguards can be made from a variety of materials, including rubber, silicone, and polyurethane. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Rubber mouthguards are the most affordable, but they can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Silicone mouthguards are more flexible and comfortable, but they can be more expensive. Polyurethane mouthguards are the most durable and provide the best protection, but they are also the most expensive.



While protection is important, a mouthguard that is uncomfortable to wear will not be used. Look for a mouthguard that is made from a comfortable material and does not cause irritation to the gums or cheeks. Additionally, make sure the mouthguard allows you to breathe and speak comfortably.


Maintenance and Care of Mouthguards

Proper maintenance and care of your mouthguard are important for both hygiene and longevity. Here are some tips for keeping your mouthguard clean and in good condition:



After each use, rinse your mouthguard with cool water and use a toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean the surface. Avoid using hot water or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the mouthguard. Additionally, periodically soak your mouthguard in a mouthwash or cleaning solution to kill bacteria and freshen the smell.



When not in use, store your mouthguard in a protective case to prevent it from becoming lost or damaged. Make sure the case is clean and dry before storing your mouthguard. Avoid leaving your mouthguard in direct sunlight or high temperatures, as this can cause it to warp or lose its shape.



Over time, mouthguards can become worn down or damaged, which can reduce their effectiveness and increase the risk of injury. Replace your mouthguard if you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, holes, or a loose fit. Additionally, replace your mouthguard every six months or as recommended by your dentist.



The benefits of using a mouthguard for both sports and sleep cannot be overstated. By providing protection against injuries, enhancing performance, reducing teeth grinding and snoring, and improving sleep quality, a mouthguard can make a significant difference in your daily life. When it comes to choosing the right mouthguard, ensure proper fit, material, and comfort. And don’t forget about maintenance and care to keep your mouthguard hygienic and effective.


If you’re looking for a high-quality mouthguard or need assistance with maintenance and care, visit Burnaby Square Dental. Our team of dental experts can provide personalized recommendations and solutions to meet your unique needs. Call us at (604) 526-2725 or visit our website to learn more about our services and schedule your appointment today. Protect your teeth and mouth with a reliable mouthguard and achieve optimal oral health.