What to Know About the Different Kinds of Mouth Guards
If you or your kids play sports, there is one thing everyone must wear to protect their teeth: a mouth guard.
It is estimated that the use of mouth guards prevents over 200,000 sports-related dental injuries each year among football players. There are three different types of mouth guards to choose from:
- Custom-made: This is the best choice for sports players. A custom mouth guard made by your dentist will provide the best, most secure, and most comfortable fit.
- Boil-and-bite: This type of mouth guard can be found sporting goods stores. To use one, first put it in boiling water to soften the plastic. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot) place it in your mouth and bite down. The soft plastic will mold around your teeth. The downsides of this mouth guard option are that it may be loose-fitting and bulky, which interferes with breathing and speaking.
- Ready-made or stock: This is the least expensive option and can be found at most sporting goods stores. With this type of mouth guard, you cannot adjust for size, they are often bulky, and they may be uncomfortable. We recommend a custom-made mouth guard over this option.
When you land on a mouth guard, take care of it by rinsing it before and after use, brushing it with toothpaste, and occasionally washing it with warm water and soap.