Different Types of Mouthguards

Mouthguards are available in 3 major types and they are:

Stock mouthguards

These are available in many drugstores and sporting goods stores. They come ready to wear and is the cheapest among the three. They are not expensive, they are one the ones with the worst fitting. They are also less comfortable and are not really guaranteed to provide protection. They are usually made from rubber or polyvinyl and have the tendency to gag sometimes. You will have a difficulty speaking and breathing with these mouthguards. They will require you to always close your jaw so that you can hold them in their place. In short, they are not ideal for athletes.

Mouth-formed mouthguards

There are two main types of mouth-formed mouthguards namely shell liner and boil-and-bite. Shell liner is lined with rubber or acrylic gel that will mold to your teeth and will set accordingly so that it can maintain its shape. While the boil-and-bite is made from thermoplastic. As the name suggests, it is first boiled and then fitted according to the contours of the teeth with the use of the fingers, tongue, lips and biting pressure. You can always try to refit it by boiling it in water again and then fit it accordingly to the contours of your teeth, if it doesn’t fit or is not comfortable in your first try.

You can purchase both types of mouth-formed mouthguards online, local sporting goods, and drug stores. Even though they are better than the stock mouthguards overall, they still don’t fair very well when it comes to the protection and fitting that the custom-fitted mouthguards can provide.

Custom-fitted mouthguards

These are the most expensive type of mouthguards. They may be expensive but the level of comfort and protection they can provide are far better than the first two types mentioned above. They are made from a cast that will precisely fit to your teeth. The dentist will first make an impression of your teeth and then use the impression to create your custom-fitted mouthguard.

They are made to cover both your upper and lower teeth. They can also serve as a cushion for your teeth against blows to the chin or falls.

You should first go to your dentist before you choose a mouthguard. Your dentist may be able to provide you with a customized mouthguard that is specific for your sport or activity.