Did you know that all mouth guards were created equal? Mouth guards, regardless of size or type may have one and the same goal, which is to provide protection for the dental area from extreme contact. However, each mouth guard are particularly designed for different purposes, so it’s important to know what type of mouth guard is best for you.
Firstly, the use of mouth guards should ideally be recommended by an orthodontic professional. Although mouth guards are naturally staple for athletes, being involved in sports is not the only reason for using one. In fact, some people diagnosed with bruxism are also prescribed to wear a mouth guard at night to prevent further damages on the teeth. While it’s technically easy to find stock mouth guards from sports shop, there will be a higher chance for it to feel uncomfortable. Moreover, since it’s not the perfect fit for you, there is no guarantee for it to provide the right protection, as well.
So, how do you find the right mouth guard for you or your team? Here are some questions that you should be asking before buying a mouth guard.
1) Where is the impact most likely to hit?
This question is crucial for those who are buying a mouth guard for a specific sports. The right mouth guard has the right protection layer for a certain part of the mouth, for a specific sports. Take fo
r instance the requirements for a field hockey and boxing where impact is anticipated on the face. This means that the right mouth guard for these sports will be bulkier on the frontal area. For sports like football and basketball where the face is often spared from direct impact, the protection is more focused on the molar area, to prevent teeth grinding during the extreme activities of the sports, but less on protecting from direct impact.
2) What is the right fit?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer for this, as it is highly recommended for every mouth guard to be custom fit. This is to ensure that it is tight enough not to come loose in the middle of a sports activity, but at the same time not causing the user any pain out of too much tightness. Also, when a mouth guard is no properly fit, it may create more damage than protection. A good fit should also be easily removed by merely using fingers, without much force.
3) Can I talk and breathe with this on?
Yes. The right mouth guard
should allow you to still talk and breathe properly while wearing it, otherwise, it means you need another fit. Consider a sports team with their mouth guards on. Each of them should be able to quickly and clearly communicate with each other even with their mouth guards on. That is one of the clearest measurement of a right mouth guard for you.
There is a reason why commercially available mouth guards are so bulky and feels uncomfortable. This is because they were only created to provide protection, without proper regard for the area-specific impact, sizing, and comfort. With this, it is best to go to an orthodontic clinic
to have your own mouth guard fitting.