Types of Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are items made of various materials which help protect your teeth from physical damage. Most mouth guards are made with a soft rubber-like material that is comfortable to wear while still allowing the teeth to be protected from minor injury. Mouth guards come in three main variants and which type is best for you can depend on personal preferences or desired level of protection. The three main types of mouth guards are stock, boil and bite, and custom-fitted.
Stock Mouth Guards
Stock mouth guards can typically be bought at your local grocery store or sporting goods stores and come ready to wear out of the box. Because of their cheap cost and disposability, they are a popular option for athletes who would like to protect their teeth from damage. Their cheap cost can be seen as a positive, however, most of these mouth guards come in a one-size-fits-all size and can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to protection. Another downfall of these stock protectors is that they can obstruct breathing, which can be irritating or even dangerous.
Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
Like stock mouth guards, boil and bite guards can be bought over the counter at your local sporting goods store or grocer. Boil and bite mouth guards get their name from how they are fitted to your teeth. From the box, these guards will look similar to stock guards, but these guards will need to be brought up to a specific temperature at home and then molded to your teeth. Boil and bite mouth guards solve a lot of the problems that stock mouth guards come with. Because they are fitted to your teeth individually, they are typically more comfortable, allow for better breathing, and give slightly better protection against damage.
Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards
Custom-fitted mouth guards can only be obtained through a dentist’s office like ours. They are more expensive than over-the-counter guards, but they offer the highest level of comfort and protection. At our office, we will take a detailed imprint of your teeth and then create a mouth guard based on the imprint. Our custom-fitted mouth guards are also created with a highly durable material that will last much longer than other types.
When Should You Consider A Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards are great for athletes, and we recommend always wearing one when you or your child are playing sports. They are specifically beneficial if the sport is high contact. Another reason to consider wearing a mouth guard is for nocturnal bruxism, or night time teeth grinding. Mouth guards can help protect your teeth while you are asleep and reduce the effects of grinding teeth. We are always here to help and would like you to call us at 479-646-0706 if you have any more questions about getting a mouth guard or how a mouth guard can help you.