If you are involved in any kind of sport where there is a chance that you might get hit in the mouth, then you know the importance of protecting your teeth. Many sports leagues nowadays require players to wear plastic mouth guards. You may have heard from some of your teammates that they have had a custom mouth guard made by their dentist while others may have told you that they simply bought a mouth guard at the local sports shop and fitted it themselves.
So which is better?
The answer is that it depends on your personal preference in regard to fit, price and the level of protection that you require.
Over the Counter Sports Mouth Guards
Over the counter sports mouth guards range widely in price from approximately $10 to over $50. Most are designed to only cover the top teeth although there are some that cover the bottom teeth as well. They are usually made of plastic and are fitted using a method called boil and bite.
The mouth guard is placed in very hot water for about 30 seconds until it softens. The user then puts the mouth guard in their mouth and bites down on it for about a minute until the plastic moulds to the shape of their teeth.
Custom Made Sports Mouth Guards
To get a custom made sports mouth guard, it will require a couple of trips to the dentist. Dental putty is used to make an exact impression of your mouth (as opposed to the boil and bite method which only makes a general impression of your mouth).
Since custom made sports mouth guards have a better fit, they are generally more comfortable to wear and there is less chance of them moving or coming out during your game, practice or workout.
One drawback however to custom mouth guards is that they are usually more expensive. Of course, if you consider how much longer they last than the over the counter variety, you might actually end up saving money if you stay with the sport for several years.
Ultimately, whether you choose an over the counter sports mouth guard or one that is custom made by your dentist is up to you. If you only need a mouth guard for a single season and the team or league that you are playing with isn’t too rough, then an over the counter sports mouth guard may be sufficient.
If however, you want the best fit and highest level of protection, then contact us today to talk about getting a custom sports mouth guard.