For athletes, mouthguards are designed to safeguard their teeth, gums, and soft tissues from injury during sports activities. They are particularly essential in contact sports, such as football, hockey, and boxing, but are also beneficial in non-contact sports, like gymnastics and skating, where there is a risk of falling.
When it comes to choosing a mouthguard, one size does not fit all. It's not just about picking the first one you see on the shelf or the one that comes in your favorite color. Fit, comfort, and level of protection are all critical factors to consider.
A poorly fitted mouthguard can be uncomfortable, distracting, and even hinder your performance. Worse yet, it may not provide the protection you need, putting you at risk for dental injuries. On the other hand, a mouthguard that fits well will be comfortable, stay in place, and best protect your mouth from harm.
There are primarily three types of mouthguards: stock mouth protectors, boil and bite mouth protectors, and custom-fitted mouth protectors. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages that you need to weigh against your specific needs.
Stock mouth protectors are pre-made and ready to wear. They are the most affordable option, but they offer the least protection and are often uncomfortable and bulky.
Boil and bite mouth protectors are made from thermoplastic material that softens when boiled. Once the material is soft, it's placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth, creating a more personalized fit than stock mouth protectors.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made to fit your mouth perfectly. They are typically made by a dentist or a professional lab based on the mold of your teeth.
When choosing a mouthguard, consider the level of protection it offers. A well-fitted mouthguard will cover all your teeth and protect against impact. It should also be durable, resisting tears and wear.
Comfort is another vital factor. The mouthguard should fit well, not restrict your breathing or speech, and not cause any discomfort.
Lastly, consider the cost. While custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best protection, they are also the most expensive. If you're on a budget, a boil-and-bite mouthguard may be a better option.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are the gold standard when it comes to choosing a mouthguard. They are individually designed based on the exact mold of your teeth.
This results in a mouthguard that fits like a glove, stays in place during activity, and offers the highest level of protection. They are also more durable and long-lasting than other types.
Choosing a mouthguard is a critical decision for any athlete. It's not just about picking the most affordable option but also considering the level of protection, comfort, and durability. Remember, a well-fitted mouthguard can be the difference between walking off the field with a smile or rushing to the emergency room with a dental injury. So, make your choice wisely.
For more information on choosing the best mouthguard for athletes, visit Midtown Dental Center at our office in Atlanta, Georgia. We treat patients of all ages and provide comprehensive solutions for all your oral needs. Call (404) 874-0800 to schedule an appointment today.