At Langley Orthodontics, we recommend our patients who play sports during their braces treatment wear custom-made sports mouth guards.
If you play sports while wearing braces, a sports mouth guard will play an important role in keeping you, and your orthodontic appliances safe during games.
It's important to note that not all sports mouth guards are created equal! There are 3 main types of sports mouth guards available, and each has its pros and cons:
Stock Mouth Guards
This type of mouth guard is the most inexpensive and most readily available in sporting goods stores. Their main benefit is the low price.
Stock mouth guards are typically one size fits all. They can be very bulky depending on the size and shape of your mouth, and can make speaking and even breathing somewhat awkward. And most importantly, they do little of anything to actually protect you.
Boil & Bite Mouth Guards
These are also easy to find at sporting goods stores, and are quite inexpensive. They provide a somewhat better fit, and better protection, than stock mouth guards do.
Boil and bite mouth guards are made of a thermoplastic material. These are softened with hot water and then placed in the mouth to shape around the teeth, using your fingers and tongue.
These mouth guards can still be fairly awkward and uncomfortable to wear. The dit is better than that of stock mouth guards, but still not great.
Custom-Made Mouth Guards
Custom mouth guards are custom made to fit just you exactly, based on impressions your dentist or orthodontist makes of your teeth.
Custom mouth guards offer the best comfort, fit and protection because they’re made to fit your unique teeth and mouth. They’re more expensive than the other two options, but the benefits when it comes to comfort and safety are worth it. This is especially true if you wear braces!