In one of our previous posts, we discussed what type of mouthguard is needed to protect your braces while doing sports. However, mouthguards aren’t just good to protect your teeth while doing sports. Today, we will discuss various types of mouthguards and help you find the right fit for you.
Generally speaking, there are three types of mouthguards: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards.
This is the most widely available of all mouthguard types. They can be purchased at stores that sell sports equipment or in drug stores.
Stock mouthguards come in three sizes: small, medium and large and they should fit over your teeth.
Even though stock mouthguards are relatively inexpensive, they do have a few downsides. First of all, they only cover your top teeth. And because they are limited only to three sizes, some people are having a hard time finding the right fit. Furthermore, because of the limited size options, stock mouthguards can really make it hard to talk.
Just like stock mouthguards, these can also be found in most drug stores and are inexpensive.
However, unlike stock mouthguards which come in various sizes, boil-and-bite mouthguards come in only one size. Luckily they are somewhat customizable.
The idea is that you boil the mouthguard until it softens, then place it over your front teeth and biting down. This creates a rather unique shape that fits just your teeth. In order to get the best fit, make sure that you follow the instructions that come with the mouthguard.
If you’re not a fan of stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards, you can always have one custom-made by your dentist.
The dentist will take a mold of your teeth and mouth and use that to create a mouthguard specifically for you.
This is proven to be the best option compared to the other two because it’s more comfortable and the risk of dislodging it by accident is minimal.
Custom-made mouthguards are ideal for people that grind their teeth during sleep or suffer from sleep apnea. And even though they are more expensive than other types, many dental insurances cover all or some of the costs.
What mouthguard should you use?
The type of mouthguard you should use generally depends on what will you be using it for and how often.
If you will only be using it during activities that involve a lot of falling or injuries to your face, stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite are a good option. They are the least expensive and could be a good solution if you need to wear a mouthguard occasionally.
And even if you wear a mouthguard from time to time, we believe that boil-and-bite is best, simply because it’s somewhat customizable and is less likely to get dislodged.
Teeth grinding and blenching are part of a condition called bruxism. This sleep-related disorder can cause a variety of problems, starting with tooth pain, sore gums and all the way to jaw pain. Not to mention that it can severely damage your teeth.
Wearing a mouthguard during sleep will keep your top and bottom teeth separated and they won’t damage each other from the pressure and grinding.
In the case of teeth grinding, the dentist usually recommends custom-made mouthguards because they are the most comfortable and the best fit. Other types such as stock and boil-and-bite are hard to keep in place and can be uncomfortable….not something you want during your sleep. Furthermore, boil-and-bite mouthguard tends to become week because of frequent use.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder causing a person to stop breathing temporarily while asleep. This can potentially increase the risk of having a stroke or heart disease.
In case of mild sleep apnea, we recommend using a custom-made mouthguard. A mouthguard for sleep apnea will push your lower jaw and tongue forward, thus keeping your airway open.
So if you’re looking for a mouthguard for sleep apnea, skip the stock and boil-and-bite type as they only serve to separate your top and bottom teeth.
Whether you play a sport or have a sleeping disorder, a mouthguard can protect your teeth and ensure a good night’s sleep.
If you’re not sure what type of mouthguard to get, make sure to contact us. We can either create a custom-made mouthguard for you or recommend an over-the-counter device.