Young athlete about to use his mouth guard

How Authentic and Effective are Your Mouth Guards?

Mouth guards are must-haves for people participating in sports activities. But, there are different types of mouth guards that individuals can get depending on the make, the protection level, and the cost. However, it is the much that you will pay for mouth guards that will determine the quality that you will get and the kind of protection to expect.

The three most common ready-made guards are either stock, boil-and-bite or customized mouth guards.

Customized Mouth Guards

Muay Thai and other hard-activity sports recommend these mouth guards as individual sportsmen can customize based on their preferences. These guards fit well and are therefore very comfortable. However, custom mouth guards cost a lot more than the alternative one-size-fits-all guards. But, in exchange, they offer extra protection to make the additional cost worth paying.

The Making of Custom Mouth Guards

Making custom mouth guards begins with getting dental impressions of the sportsperson in question. It involves filling of the dentist’s tray with this putty substance that you then squish over the gums and teeth. Within minutes the substance will be set with an actual impression of the athlete’s dental image. This procedure follows for both jaws. The mouth guard molder then fills the impression with plaster to create a model of the athlete’s mouth. From here, the dentist will design the mouth guard, using plaster in creating the model. This process can take a maximum of two weeks.

Evaluating the design follows, where the molder evaluates the quality and effectiveness of mouth guard on the cast. The athlete should come at a later date for the appointment. If there is any problem with the mouth guard, the dentist then rechecks and readjusts accordingly.

Stock Mouth Guards

Green rubber mouth guardThis type of mouth guard is available for sale without requiring further customization. It is the cheapest option of the three mouth guards here. These are readily available for buyers who need a quick buy. But, in case you chose the stock mouth guards, there are a few things you will have to consider. First off, note that the protection you will get will be as low as the cost of purchasing these guards.

They, however, come in various sizes from which to choose, but they might not fit well, and they could end up being uncomfortable by not staying in place. Failure to get the right size can also result in you having a guard that fails to cover the teeth at the back, thus exposing the unprotected teeth to damage.

Boil & Bite Mouth Guards

These are the commonest with over 90% of athletes, including Muay Thai boxers, using them. As its name indicates, the boil-and-bites guards are home-customized. They offer more protection than the stock types, but they are nothing close to the custom made. They come with an outer shell that is firm and plastic, but the inner layer is spongy. The inner layer softens after heating because it is thermoplastic.

Conclusion: Which One Fits You Best?

When choosing between customized mouth guards and the cheaper ones, it is good to weigh the pros and cons of each type. There will be a lot to do with weighing between comfort and compromising your protection, and that against your budget. But, first, consult your dentist to determine which type of mouth guards will guarantee you maximum protection and comfort.

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