Mouthguards form part of the personal protective equipment used by athletes who play impact sports (boxing, kickboxing, American football, rugby, etc.). They mostly protect your teeth and the soft tissue in your mouth from injury. To ensure the mouthguard is effective in protecting your teeth, you need to know a few important factors:

Different Types of Mouthguards

You might come across three types of mouthguards:

  • Over-the-counter stock/ready-made mouthguards

These come in different standard sizes, meaning that you have to know your size. They are the cheapest option you will come across, but you might notice several disadvantages. Ready-made mouthguards may not fit very well; you might be forced to keep your jaws closed to hold them in place. This means that if you need to talk during your sport, it might be difficult and uncomfortable. You can also experience breathing difficulties because opening your mouth to take a gasp of air could mean the mouthguard will fall out of your mouth.

  • Over-the-counter boil and bite mouthguards

These are often preferred mouthguards when compared to stock/ready-made mouthguards. They might be slightly more expensive than stock mouthguards, but generally affordable. Boil and bite mouthguards solve the problems you might encounter with stock mouthguards, meaning you can talk or open your mouth for air during gameplay without worrying about the mouthguard falling off. You are expected to dip the mouthguard in hot water, which makes it soft for you to bite. You can then press it against your teeth with your finger or tongue to make it fit properly. The boil and bite mouthguard takes the shape of your teeth, meaning it offers a better fit and maximum protection.

  • Custom-made mouthguards

These are made by dentists, meaning you can only get them at a dental clinic. They are made to fit your mouth perfectly with the help of special materials that also make the custom-made mouthguard feel more comfortable than the options mentioned above. That is why custom-made mouthguards are the most expensive option.

How to Make the Right Choice

Your choice is affected by:

  • Your Needs

What do you want to be able to do while wearing the mouthguard? If you need to speak or open your mouth during gameplay, your options are boil and bite and custom-made mouthguards. If you don't need to open your mouth, the stock/ready-made mouthguards can be an option for you.

  • Your Age

Since children's jaws and teeth are still developing, it is recommended that they stick to boil and bite and custom-made mouthguards. Stock mouthguards are more suitable for adults whose mouthguard needs are not affected by their cons.

  • Price

The price of the mouthguards from most expensive to cheapest is custom-made mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards and stock/ready-made mouthguards.

If you need additional information on mouthguards, reach out to a local dentist.