If you, your child, or a loved one plays a sport, any of you could benefit from a mouth guard. A mouth guard is a piece of material, typically a form of plastic, that fits inside your mouth and protects the teeth from impact.
The teeth are one of the parts of the body that are most prone to damage or breakage. Because of this, it’s important to protect the mouth with a tough layer or boundary like a mouthguard. When first considering using a mouth guard, the process can be confusing as there are various kinds of guards available on the market.
Below, you’ll find information about each different type of mouthguard and how to care for the one of your choosing.
Stock Mouth Guard
A stock mouth guard is the most typical one you’ll see for beginner players who don’t wish to invest a lot of money into their sport yet. People are able to purchase these at most department and sporting goods stores. Essentially, they are a piece of hard plastic that should fit universally into every mouth, but typically don’t.
With this, not much can be done to adjust the fit of these mouth guards after they’re purchased. In addition to this, they are very bulky making them uncomfortable to wear. Most importantly, these provide the least protection out of all three options of mouth guards. For this reason, dentists do not recommend the use of stock mouth guards for any reason.
Boil and Bite Mouth Guard
The next most popular type of mouthguard is called a boil and bite mouth guard. As the name suggests, to activate them before use, you must boil them, then bite on them. Made of a thermoplastic material, when it is placed in hot water it becomes moldable. This is why you are asked to bite on them – it creates a more personalized fit than a stock mouth guard ever can.
Along with biting them, it’s best to push the thermoplastic against your teeth with your finger and tongue to ensure the mouth guard remains tight. Boil and bite mouth guards, similar to the stock mouth guards, are able to be purchased at most sporting goods stores. These are recommended by dentists if cost is a concern.
Custom Sports Mouthguard
Easily the most effective and beneficial mouth guard of the three, a custom sports mouthguard provides your teeth with stability and safety many types of impact. These are often seen in those playing for more professional sports teams or in people who care about protecting their teeth. In order to receive a custom mouthguard, you must visit your dentist. This is because these mouth-guards are specifically tailored to fit the shape of your teeth, thus providing the most stability. Upon appointment, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and use this to model the mouth guard with a special material. Because of the customization, comfort, and material that comes with these mouth guards, they are often the most expensive.
How to Care for a Mouthguard
Caring for whatever type of mouth guard you get is important for its prolonged use. Bacteria can easily build up within the crevices of them, so you must be sure to brush your mouth guard with a toothbrush and mild soap after every use and rinse it before every use. When storing, keep it in a perforated container to prevent mildew growth.
Lastly, protect your mouthguard from high temperatures to prevent distortion. As long as you care for your mouth guard properly, it should last you a decent amount of time.
Got Questions About Mouth Guards? Schedule A Consultation Today!
If you have any questions about mouth guards or are interested in receiving a custom fit mouth guard for you or a family member, Inglewood Family Dental can help. If you’re unsure of your desire to use a mouth guard just yet, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask us some questions.
Better yet, you can set up an appointment for a complementary dental consultation where we can discuss your options further. Contact Inglewood Family Dental today to set up an appointment!
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