Types of Mouth Guards

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There are various types of mouth guards, including:

  • Shop bought standard mouth guards.  These can be bought ready-made in a sports shop, and are usually made from plastics.  Because these types of mouth guards are of a standard size and shape, they might prove uncomfortable, pinching at your gums or falling loose, and can cause difficulty with talking and breathing.  The level of protection they offer is minimal, and as such better made, customised mouth guards are considered a better option by dentists. 
  • Boil and bite.  These are an inexpensive, popular option, bought as a pack from sports shops, and allow you to create a better fitting mouth guard than one which is made to a standard.  You have to boil the thermoplastic material and then press softened protector against your teeth.  This will create a personal mouth protector that will fit you better than a standard one and will offer you a greater level of protection.  It might be possible to get your dentist to help you to fit a boil and bite mouth guard, so making the fit even better.  These mouth guards do also come in limited sizes, and sometimes won’t cover all of the teeth. 
  • Professional custom made.  These are made specifically for you by your dentist using an alginate, or ‘putty’ mould of your teeth.  Once this mould has been taken it will be used to create a stone model of your mouth, against which a vacuum formed acrylic protector is made, and fitted at a later appointment.  Normally it will take about a week for this process to be completed.  Custom made mouth guards tend to be of a thinner material, and allow a sports player to breathe without any interference, something that is highly necessary especially in professional sports.  Of course, with the personalised fitting of these mouth guards they are the most expensive, but also offer the most protection. 

Mouth guards are usually worn only on the top set of teeth, but if you have fixtures such as a brace or other specialised requirements then you can have protectors fitted for both the upper and lower sets of teeth.  A mouth guard ought to be comfortable to wear and not affect your breathing.  If it isn’t then it is not a good fit, and won’t be offering you the best protection. 

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