At Austin Heights Orthodontics, we recommend custom-made sports mouth guards for patients who play sports during their braces treatment.
Having a sports mouth guard is very important when it comes to keeping your orthodontic appliances, your mouth and your face safe if you play sports while wearing braces.
Choosing the right sports mouth guard is also an important consideration. Sports mouth guards come in 3 basic types, each with its pros and cons:
Stock Mouth Guards
These are the most inexpensive option, and you can find them in most sporting goods stores. The main benefit of stock mouth guards is the low price.
But you get what you pay for in this case. Since they typically come in one standard size, the fit can't be adjusted. Since they're fairly bulky and awkward, they also make speaking and even breathing somewhat difficult and uncomfortable. But most importantly, they do very little to actually protect you.
Boil & Bite Mouth Guards
This option is also pretty inexpensive, and they're readily available at most sporting goods stores. Boil and bite mouth guards are a step up in fit and protection from stock mouth guards.
They're made from a thermoplastic material is made soft and pliable under hot water. Once it's soft, you can shape your boil and bite mouth guard around your teeth with your fingers and tongue.
These mouth guards are nonetheless rather uncomfortable, although they do fit better than stock guards.
Custom-Made Mouth Guards
Custom mouth guards are made specifically to fit the shape of your mouth and teeth, based on your teeth impressions taken at your dentist’s (or orthodontist’s) office.
Custom mouth guards provide the best comfort, fit and protection of the three options. While they’re more expensive than the other two options, the benefits when it comes to comfort and safety are worth it. Especially if you wear braces!