Mouthguards by our dentist in Skokie, IL are essential protective devices designed to safeguard your teeth, gums, and jaws from injury during sports activities, nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism), or other situations where dental trauma may occur. From professional athletes to recreational enthusiasts, individuals of all ages and activity levels can benefit from the added protection provided by mouthguards. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about mouthguards, including their types, benefits, proper use, and maintenance.

What Are Mouthguards?

Mouthguards, also known as mouth protectors or gum shields, are flexible oral appliances typically made of durable plastic materials. They are custom fitted to the contours of your teeth and gums, providing a cushioning barrier that helps absorb and dissipate the impact of blows or pressure to the mouth area. Mouthguards serve as a protective barrier between the teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, reducing the risk of dental injuries such as broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, and soft tissue damage.

Types of Mouthguards

  • Stock Mouthguards

These pre-formed mouthguards are ready to wear and available in standard sizes from sports stores or pharmacies. While affordable and convenient, stock mouthguards offer limited customization and may provide a less secure fit compared to other types.

  • Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards

These mouthguards are made from thermoplastic materials that become pliable when heated in boiling water. After softening the material, the mouthguard is placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth by biting down and applying pressure. Boil-and-bite mouthguards can provide improved fit and comfort compared to stock mouthguards and can be customized to some extent. 

  • Custom-Fitted Mouthguards

Custom-made mouthguards are crafted by the best dentist in Skokie, IL  using impressions of your teeth and jaws. These mouthguards provide the highest level of fit, comfort, and protection, as they are tailored specifically to your unique oral anatomy. While custom-fitted mouthguards may be more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite options, they provide superior performance and durability, making them the preferred choice for athletes and individuals seeking optimal protection.

Who Should Use a Mouthguard?

Whether you're an athlete engaging in high-impact sports or someone who grinds their teeth at night, using a mouth guard can benefit various individuals. Athletes involved in contact sports like football, boxing, or hockey can significantly reduce the risk of dental injuries by wearing a mouthguard during play. Additionally, those who participate in recreational activities such as skateboarding or mountain biking can also benefit from the protection a mouthguard provides. 

Individuals who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) while sleeping may find relief and protect their teeth from wear and tear by wearing a night guard. Moreover, individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment should consider using a mouthguard to prevent any damage to their braces or orthodontic appliances during physical activity. 

In essence, anyone looking to safeguard their teeth and prevent potential oral injuries should consider incorporating a mouthguard into their routine — whether it's for sports participation, nighttime tooth grinding, or protecting orthodontic work. 

Benefits of Mouthguards

  • Prevention of Dental Injuries

Mouthguards act as a cushioning barrier, reducing the risk of dental trauma during sports activities or accidents.

  • Protection Against Concussions

In addition to safeguarding the teeth and jaws, mouthguards may also help reduce the risk of concussions by absorbing and dispersing impact forces.

  • Prevention of Bruxism-Related Damage

For individuals who suffer from nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism), wearing a mouthguard while sleeping can help protect the teeth from excessive wear and damage.

  • Enhanced Performance

Mouthguards can improve comfort and confidence during sports activities, allowing athletes to focus on their performance without worrying about dental injuries. Call us to learn more.

Proper Use and Maintenance

To maximize the effectiveness of your mouthguard and ensure long-lasting protection, it's important to follow these guidelines for proper use and maintenance:

  • Wear Consistently

Wear your mouthguard during all practices, games, or activities where dental injury risk is present, including contact sports, martial arts, and recreational activities like skateboarding or mountain biking.

  • Clean Regularly

After each use, rinse your mouthguard with cool water and mild soap, then allow it to air dry thoroughly before storing it in a ventilated case to prevent bacterial growth.

  • Inspect for Damage

Regularly inspect your mouthguard for signs of wear, tear, or damage, such as cracks, tears, or distortion. Replace your mouthguard if any damage is detected to ensure continued protection.

  • Avoid High Temperatures

Keep your mouthguard away from hot water, direct sunlight, or other sources of heat, as excessive heat can cause deformation or damage to the material.

  • Store Properly

Store your mouthguard in a clean, ventilated case when not in use to protect it from contamination and damage. Avoid storing your mouthguard in closed containers or damp environments, as this can promote bacterial growth and odors.


In summary, mouthguards by our dentist in Skokie, IL are invaluable protective devices designed to shield your teeth, gums, and jaws from injury during sports activities, nighttime teeth grinding, or other situations where dental trauma may occur. With various types available to suit different needs and preferences, including stock, boil-and-bite, and custom-fitted options, individuals can find the right mouthguard to fit their lifestyle and level of activity. By wearing a properly fitted mouthguard consistently and following recommended care and maintenance guidelines, you can enjoy enhanced protection and peace of mind, safeguarding your smile for years to come. Whether you're a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or someone seeking to protect against bruxism-related damage, investing in a quality mouthguard is a smart decision for preserving your oral health and overall well-being.

Experience the difference at Krueger Dental Associates! Discover personalized care, advanced treatments, and a commitment to your oral health. Schedule your appointment today at our Skokie, IL, location. Call us at (847) 328-1180 to take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile!

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