Various Options For Mouthguards
A properly fitted mouthguard will be protective, comfortable, resilient, and tear resistant. It must minimally interfere with speaking and breathing, and most importantly, have excellent retention, fit, and sufficient thickness in critical areas. Your athlete’s teeth and oral health deserve the best protection available. Addressed below are the options in mouthguards and the significant benefits of custom mouthguards.
Although these are available at most sporting good stores, they are limited in sizes and least protective. Stock mouthguards are ready to be used without any further preparation; simply remove from the package and immediately place in the mouth. Bulky and lacking retention, constant biting is required to keep the mouthguard in place. Stock mouthguards are often altered and cut by the athlete in an attempt to make it more comfortable, further reducing the protective properties We recommend that stock mouthguards not be worn due to their lack of retention and protective properties.
Mouth Formed (Boil and Bite) Mouthguard
Presently, these are the most commonly used and most advertised mouthguard. Studies have shown that most boil and bite mouthguards do not cover all posterior teeth in a majority of high school and collegiate athletes. Athletes also cut and alter these mouthguards due to their poor fit and poor retention, which in turn further reduces the protective properties and increases the chance of injury. Some of these injuries, such as concussion, can cause life long effects.
Only custom mouthguards meet all of the criteria for maximum protection, as discussed above. Most importantly, custom mouthguards will provide optimal thickness and retention. In addition to the impressions taken to make a custom mouthguard, our office will perform a complimentary general oral exam and, if necessary, obtain a screening x-ray to evaluate the overall condition of the teeth and jaws. Working together, we can keep our athletes as safe as possible in practice and during games.