Whether you’re active in contact sports or are feeling pain in the morning from a night of teeth grinding, one thing is for sure—you need to protect your teeth. Should you get a mouthguard or a dental splint? Which one do you really need?

What is a dental splint?

A dental splint, also called a night guard, bite guard or occlusal splint, protects your teeth as you sleep. This is because you may be suffering from a condition called bruxism, which is a sleep disorder that causes you to unconsciously grind or clench your teeth at night. This is usually due to stress or anxiety, but when left untreated, it can ruin your teeth.

Once you consult with your local dentist about your condition, you might need to get a dental splint, which is a set of special plastic appliance that is custom-fitted to be worn over your teeth. This prevents your upper and lower teeth from touching while absorbing bite force to prevent damage.

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard covers both your teeth and gums to prevent lips, gums, and teeth injury as well as absorb shock from blows and falls. This is most commonly used in sports such as boxing, basketball, ice hockey, and football to name a few.

While there are stock mouthguards that you can buy in sporting goods stores or over-the-counter, it is highly recommended that you have one that is custom-made for you. Having a mouthguard from your own teeth’s impression will offer comfort, snug fit, and the most protection.

Simply put, a mouthguard protects your teeth while a splint holds your teeth together to prevent harmful movement. Before getting yourself the one that is right for you, however, it is always best to check in with your dentist.

Set an appointment with our top dentists from Caloundra to get yourself custom-fitted dental splints or mouthguards.