The tongue can be a powerful muscle, and tongue thrusting may be more common than you think. If you’re wondering if your tongue thrusting habits are affecting your teeth or if you need to start wearing a tongue guard, read on to learn about common symptoms of tongue thrusting, causes of mouth muscle problems, and how to identify the difference between biting and tongue thrusting in general.
Will a bite guard help me with tongue thrust?
Sometimes people assume that you need a tongue guard if you have tooth movement problems. Not true! You don’t need a bite guard because your teeth are moving, but rather because of how you chew and swallow. Since it’s not safe to wear a regular mouthguard during these actions, a practitioner will often prescribe a special type of bite guard designed to protect your cheeks and lips while doing so. But one thing that is important to remember is that wearing braces with a tongue thrust can lead to tooth damage, so if you wear braces with heavy tongue thrust, consult your dentist about whether or not wearing a tongue guard might be right for you.
Who should consider using a tongue guard?
If you have a history of grinding or clenching your teeth and want to prevent excessive wear and/or jaw misalignment, a tongue guard can be an effective tool. However, tongue guards are usually only use for patients who grind or clench their teeth at night (nocturnal bruxism). If you wake up with sore jaws or persistent headaches, wearing a tongue guard may be recommend.
For example, those with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) often report relief when wearing these devices. Children and adults who suffer from sleep apnea sometimes find that a tongue guard makes breathing easier during sleep, while some athletes use them during training to avoid injury. In general, however, it’s best to talk to your dentist about whether or not a tongue guard is right for you. He or she will be able to determine if there is enough space in your mouth for one and help ensure that it fits properly before ordering one.
What are some common myths about tongue thrust guards?
While they’re a relatively new device, there are some common myths floating around. The most common myth is that tongue thrusting causes teeth to shift. While it can be an aggravating habit, there’s little evidence that tongue thrusting will make your teeth move—especially if you wear a guard to help train your muscles out of poor habits. In fact, studies have shown that people who wear guards actually exhibit less posterior crossbite than those who don’t wear them! Another myth is that wearing a tongue thrust guard will change how you speak.
Again, there’s no real evidence for this claim and plenty of anecdotal stories from users saying otherwise. If anything, using a guard might even improve your speech by forcing you to slow down and enunciate better. Finally, many patients worry about being embarras or having other people notice their mouthguard in public places like school or work. However, most guards come with clear plastic cases or covers which allow for discreet use in public settings without anyone noticing anything different about your appearance. Overall, these devices aren’t for everyone—but they’re definitely worth considering if you’re struggling with bad habits like tongue thrusting and want something more comfortable than traditional braces as an alternative treatment option!
Do I need a special mouthguard to use with braces?
Having braces is a big deal, and for most people, it’s an investment of both time and money. So when your orthodontist tells you to get a special mouthguard to protect your teeth from irritation and injury while you have braces, it’s tempting to ignore them. But no matter how careful you are with your teeth, minor injuries can happen when metal meets soft tissue. With that in mind, here are some reasons why it’s so important to use bite blocks braces
What types of sports mouthguards can be used with braces
Fortunately, there are many types of sports mouthguards available. The two most common styles include stock and boil-and-bite. Both can be use with braces. If you need a better fit than either provides, however, then your dentist will custom-fit a sports guard for you. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are great for people who have only minor changes to their bite but still want some protection when playing contact sports. This is because boiling water softens them up so that you can adjust their shape to fit your teeth.
How do I know if a tongue thrust guard is right for me?
If you’re already wearing bite blocks or braces, then you know how important it is to protect your mouth from injuries that can interrupt your treatment. With a tongue thrust guard, your teeth are protected 24/7 for less than $2 a day—and unlike those over-the-counter devices, ours won’t slip out of place and can help prevent accidental mouth burns from hot foods. But if you don’t currently wear bite blocks or braces, taking care of any jaw pain or tongue thrusting as soon as possible may be helpful in preventing problems later on.