A mouthguard is a piece of equipment worn over your teeth to protect them from injury when playing contact sports. Any athlete playing a sport that could result in a mouth injury should wear one. Mouthguards are recommended by the ADA (American Dental Association) Mouthguards need to be worn at practice as well as games. Mouthguards are generally worn over the top teeth and are designed to protect against broken teeth.
The type of mouthguard you choose to use will impact the level of protection you will receive while playing sports.
Types of Mouthguards
- Stock mouthguards These mouthguards are inexpensive and come pre-formed. They are usually sold in small, medium, large and extra large sizes. They do not fit well because they have not been formed to your teeth. Stock mouth guards are usually bulky and uncomfortable.
- Boil and bite mouthguards These mouth guards come in a pre-formed shape that can be boiled and shaped in your mouth for a customized fit. They can be purchased in most sporting goods stores, and offer a better fit than stock mouthguards.
- Custom-made mouthguards These mouth guards are individually designed and made in your dentist’s office. Of the three types of mouth guards, the custom-made guards are the most comfortable and provide the best protection. An impression of your teeth is taken in the dental office and the guard is specifically made to fit your unique mouth.