A sports mouthguard is a custom-made plastic device designed to protect your teeth and bite during physical activity, such as playing contact sports or engaging in activities that can lead to injury. These devices are often designed to fit over your teeth like a glove, covering your teeth and cushioning your jaw to prevent damage to the teeth, gums, tongue, and lips.
At Mega Dental, we highly recommend custom-made mouthguards because they provide the most comfort and protection. They are typically made from a soft plastic material molded to fit your mouth comfortably while offering excellent protection against injuries.
Types of Mouthguards
- Stock Mouthguards
Stock mouthguards are pre-made and come in various sizes, typically small, medium, and large. They are ready to use right out of the package and are the least expensive option. However, they provide the least protection and tend to be bulky and ill-fitting. Also, stock mouthguards could interfere with speech and breathing, often requiring clenching to keep them in place.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards
Boil-and-bite mouthguards offer a better fit compared to stock mouthguards. They are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when heated in boiling water. After softening, the mouthguard is placed in the mouth and molded by applying pressure with the fingers, tongue and biting down. This process allows for a more customized fit to the individual's teeth and provides better protection and comfort than stock mouthguards. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are available at sporting goods stores and are more affordable than custom-fitted mouthguards.
- Custom-Fitted Mouthguards
Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most effective and comfortable option for mouth protection. They are made specifically for an individual's mouth using impressions taken of their teeth. These impressions are the basis for creating a mouthguard that fits the unique contours of the individual's teeth and gums.
Custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best fit, retention, and protection. Dental professionals typically make them more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards. However, they provide the highest comfort level, speech clarity, and protection against dental injuries.
The Benefits of Sports Mouthguards
Wearing a sports mouthguard can help prevent your jaw from breaking or chipping or your teeth from being knocked out during high-impact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing. A custom-fitted sports mouthguard from our dentist is the best protection for your smile.
Wearing a sports mouthguard is especially important for children and teenagers developing their adult dentition. An athletic mouthguard can help slow the aging process for older patients by absorbing shock from an impact and preventing the mouth from completely closing. This reduces pressure on the temporomandibular joint, essential for maintaining proper alignment.
If you play a sport involving physical contact with others, wearing a sports mouthguard to prevent injury and protect your smile is essential. For the best dental care, visit Mega Dental at 10510 FM 1464 Suite 100, Richmond, TX 77407, or call (832) 930-7723.