Why should I buy a custom mouthguard instead of a ready-made mouthguard?

Anyone who participates in organized sports should be wearing a mouthguard!  Over 35% of dental trauma is attributable to a sports injury.  The least expensive mouthguard is the boil-and-bite kind which can be found in most drugstores.  This involves the patient heating a thermoplastic template in hot water, placing it in the mouth and then molding the guard around his/her teeth.  However, this procedure can get sloppy and usually makes for a loose fit.  Patients also complain it feels bulky.  A dentist can make a customized mouthguard which requires taking an impression with either impression material or digitally, in order to make a guard that's more comfortable and more protective.
When it comes to protecting your smile during active sports, a properly fitted mouthguard is a key piece of athletic gear. Mouthguards cushion impact that may otherwise cause broken teeth, jaw injuries, or cuts to the lip, tongue or face. Ready-made mouthguards may be cheaper, but do not fit as well and can make it harder to speak or breathe. The less comfortable the mouthguard, the less likely it will be worn regularly. If it doesn't fit properly, it is not protective. Since treating a sports-related dental injury can cost thousands of dollars, a custom mouthguard is money well spent. Discuss types of mouthguards with your dentist and select one that works for your needs and budget.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.