Advantages of a Custom-Made Mouthguard for Children and Adults
Wearing your seatbelt in a vehicle or putting a helmet on for a bike ride are common ways to stay safe. But how often do you make sure to protect your mouth?
If you participate in contact sports, wearing a mouthguard can help prevent injury to your teeth, gums, face, jaw, and lips.
Here, we’ll explain the different types of mouthguards, including the pros and cons of each type and why custom-made mouthguards are the best way to protect your mouth.
What Is a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are dental devices designed to cover the teeth and mouth and absorb impact. Mouthguards are an effective way to prevent the pain and cost of a tooth getting cracked or knocked out.
Wearing a mouthguard during contact sports or certain activities can help:
- Prevent lost teeth
- Reduce the risk of cracking or chipping a tooth
- Prevent soft-tissue damage to the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips
- Reduce the risk of fracturing your jawbone
- Prevent nerve damage to the teeth
- Reduce the chance of needing a costly dental or medical procedure
What Are the Different Types of Mouthguards?
Stock mouthguards are pre-formed, ready-to-wear mouthguards. Although they are affordable and widely available, stock mouthguards cannot be adjusted or personalised.
Because of the high chance of a poor fit, stock mouthguards have quite a few drawbacks, including:
- Often uncomfortable
- Can affect breathing
- Can make it difficult to speak clearly
- Offer less protection
Boil and Bite Mouthguards
Boil and bite mouthguards are created from a thermoplastic material that softens when heated. This allows boil and bites mouthguards to be somewhat personalised. To use a boil and bite mouthguard, they are dipped in hot water to become malleable and then placed in the mouth to mould around the teeth.
Boil and bite mouthguards are readily found in sporting goods stores and usually offer a better fit than stock mouthguards.
Still, boil and bite mouthguards must be created with care. If instructions aren’t followed carefully, boil and bite mouthguards can end up being uncomfortable and offer poor protection.
Custom-made mouthguards get their name because they are custom-created for each patient. They are professionally manufactured according to the specific contours and measurements of your mouth.
Due to the custom material used to construct it, along with the additional dental appointments involved, custom-made mouthguards are the most expensive type of mouthguard. However, they offer the highest level of protection and comfort.
Advantages Of A Custom-Made Mouth Guard
Because custom-made mouthguards are made to match your mouth perfectly, they are far more comfortable than stock mouthguards. Instead of the bulky, awkward fit often offered by stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards, a custom-made mouthguard offers a seamless fit.
Because of their superior comfort, there is a higher chance you’ll wear a mouthguard that has been custom-fitted for you.
For the best protection for your teeth, gums, and mouth, custom mouthguards are the gold standard. Their personalised fit and high-quality construction offer the best protection against injury or damage to the teeth and soft tissues.
Wearing a custom-made mouthguard can prevent dental injury or significantly reduce the severity of the damage from an impact or fall during contact sports or high-impact activities.
Better Fit With Braces
For individuals with braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances, it can be difficult to find a mouthguard that fits properly. Often, stock or boil and bite mouthguards feel uncomfortable and barely fit over braces. This puts brace-wearers at a higher risk of injury. Along with the damage from an impact, the braces themselves can cause lacerations or injury to the soft tissues of the mouth.
A custom-made mouthguard offers a perfect fit, and high protection, and can be worn comfortably over braces or a retainer. It also helps protect against oral lacerations from the braces.
Possibility for Long-Term Savings
Due to their high quality and personalised fit, custom-made mouthguards are more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards. However, the initial investment may save money in the long run.
With the proper protection, they offer, custom-fitted mouthguards reduce the chance of severe dental injuries or emergency dental care. When compared to high medical costs, a custom-made mouthguard is worth the investment.
Reduced Chance of Speech Restriction
Because of their secure, personalised fit, custom-made mouthguards do not cause the same degree of speech restriction as stock or boil and bite mouthguards.
While it may still take some time and practice to adjust to speaking with your mouthguard in, the transition will be far easier with a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Because of their poor fit and bulkiness, stock mouthguards can shift around in the mouth and make it difficult to breathe. Custom mouthguards stay securely in place and do not restrict breathing. This can be particularly important for athletes who need to breathe properly, keep up their stamina, and perform well.
Recommended by Experts
Experts advise against the use of stock mouthguards. Even when used correctly, stock mouthguards cannot provide the same protection as custom-made mouthguards.
They can also cause discomfort, make it more difficult to speak, and even make breathing more difficult. Dental and medical professionals recommend custom-fitted mouthguards for the best protection.
If durability and longevity are a priority for you, choose a custom-made mouthguard. To help your mouthguard last as long as possible, maintain it according to your dentist’s recommendations.
It is helpful to bring your custom-made mouthguard along to dental checkups. This allows your dental professional to assess the condition of your mouthguard and ensure there is no damage.
Easy to Care For
Custom-made mouthguards are constructed of high-quality materials and are simple to care for.
Along with bringing your mouthguard to dental checkups, the following tips can help maximise your mouthguard’s lifespan and keep your mouth healthy:
- Store your mouthguard in a hard container
- Keep your mouthguard away from pets (for some reason, dogs tend to view mouthguards as personal chew toys!)
- Regularly check your mouthguard for damage, cracks, or warping
- Talk with your dentist if you notice your mouthguard no longer fits as securely or comfortably (this is especially important for individuals under age 18 as the jaw keeps growing until then and can change how a mouthguard fits)
- Brush your mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use
- Only use cool or warm water to rinse your mouthguard (hot water can warp it)
- Rinse your mouthguard with cool water or mouthwash before using it
- Brush and floss your teeth before putting in your mouthguard
What Sports Require a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are recommended for contact sports and activities that involve possible impact to the mouth or falls, such as:
- Ice hockey
- Martial arts
- Roller hockey
- Mountain biking
What Is the Process of Getting a Custom Mouthguard?
At an initial consultation, your dentist will evaluate your mouth and discuss any sports you play and any health conditions you have. Once your dentist determines you are a good candidate for a custom-made mouthguard, you’ll get impressions of your mouth taken.
From these impressions, a custom mouthguard will be created. Once the custom-made mouthguard is finished, your dentist will check the fit to ensure it matches your mouth securely and comfortably.
Are Mouthguards Needed for Upper and Lower Teeth?
Most often, mouthguards are only used to cover the upper teeth, but a mouthguard may be used on the lower teeth in some cases.
How Should a Mouthguard Fit?
A mouthguard that fits properly should:
- Be comfortable to wear
- Not restrict breathing
- Not affect speech
- Not shift around
- Be durable and easy to clean
- Fit snug and secure around the teeth
- Not cause you to gag
- Not have to be held in place by your tongue or by biting down on it
- Pop into place fairly easily
Do You Need a Custom Made Mouthguard?
If you are worried about protecting your teeth during sports or high-impact activities, Genesis Dental can create a custom-made mouthguard that fits comfortably and keeps your teeth and smile healthy.
We provide the highest quality service and comprehensive dental care, including custom-made mouthguards, for everyone in your family.
If you play contact sports, we invite you to contact us about a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums. Our dentists in Canning Vale will carefully assess your needs and develop a treatment plan to keep your smile safe.