Now’s probably the time where you’re getting ready for spring sports by signing up for leagues, practicing, and of course, buying sports equipment. While most equipment can be purchased at a local sporting goods store, you may want to second guess buying and over-the-counter mouthguard.
Typically, the mouthguards found at a sporting goods store are boil-and-bites. While they offer some protection, they don’t provide the best fit and the ultimate protection your mouth and head require. Here are the differences between boil-and-bites and custom fit mouthguards, and why it’s so important to get a custom mouthguard:
Boil-and-bites have had the same basic design since 1960. So they’ve provided some protection, but not much has changed. While they are inexpensive, they don’t provide maximum protection for several reasons. Boil-and-bites are pretty self-explanatory, you form the mouthpiece by boiling it and then use your fingers, tongue and biting to form it around your upper teeth and mouth. However, during the forming process if you bit too hard the protection decreases as the plastic material compresses. If the forming isn’t accurate, then the mouthguard can easily become jarred loose. In addition, boil-and-bites are bulky, making it hard to breathe, talk and drink during activity.
Custom fit mouthguard
A custom fit mouthguard, on the other hand, is well worth the money. The custom fit allows for a snug fit. A dentist takes an impression of your mouth and then the mouthguard is vacuum sealed around that impression. This ensures a tight fit of the mouthguard, which relies on positive and negative pressure to form around your mouth, instead of just your tongue, fingers and bite.
Pro-form mouthguards stay in place and have a consistent thickness and protection all throughout the piece, unlike boil-and-bites. These custom mouthguards also last longer and can be used in multiple sports.
The prevention alone is worth the price, as dental injuries can cost more than 20 times the preventative costs of a simple custom-made mouthguard. Here are some other benefits of a custom fit mouthguard:
- Oxygen intake – for maximum performance and endurance
- Speech – for clear communication on the field
- Comfort – natural and secure fit that won’t hurt sensitive gums
- Protection – dual laminated for maximum protection
- Professional Fit – made for a perfect fit to any mouth size
As you can see, there are many benefits to a custom mouthguard that a cheaper boil-and-bite option cannot provide. The prevention benefits alone make up the price of a custom fit. Make sure when you’re doing your sports shopping this spring to consider a custom mouthguard. Ask your dentist about a custom fit mouthguard and get more information on Pro-form custom fit mouthguards at our website.