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A mouthguard is also known as a sports guard. It protects the teeth and gums from potential trauma during sports.
Mouthguards stabilize the jaw while separating the top and bottom rows of teeth from each other. They also absorb or redistribute shock from violent contact that could otherwise result in a bigger injury.
Everything We Recommend
Best Overall (Editor's Pick) — Shock Doctor Pro Mouth Guard
Best for Contact Sports — Sporting Smiles Custom Clear Sports Mouth Guard
Best for Combat Sports — Impact Mouthguard
Best for Limited-Contact Sports— SISU Sports Mouth Guard
Best for Kids — AITUSI Kids Youth Mouth Guard for Sports
Best for Braces — Shock Doctor Double Braces Mouthguard
Dentists recommend mouthguards during contact and limited-contact sports. Examples of contact sports include:
Examples of limited-contact sports include:
There are three types of mouthguards for sports:
Each of these vary in cost, comfort, and efficacy.
Custom-made mouthguards are made in a dental office or lab. These are usually the best, but most expensive, option. A dentist gets impressions of your teeth so that the mouthguard fits perfectly in your mouth.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are self-adapting. You make it yourself by placing it in hot water to become more pliable. Let it cool before placing it in your mouth. The mouthguard adapts to your teeth through the pressure of your bite and manipulation of your tongue, fingers, and lips.
Stock mouthguards are the most easily obtainable type of mouthguard. Most sporting goods stores sell these. However, they usually carry a limited range of sizes.
They’re less comfortable because of their generic design. Additionally, these mouthguards are the least effective because of the potential incompatibility with your teeth and gums.
People who engage in contact or limited-contact sports have a high risk of sustaining tooth injuries. A mouthguard significantly reduces this risk.
A mouthguard protects your teeth and surrounding soft tissues by forming a thick layer over them. People who don’t use mouthguards in recreational or competitive sports are almost twice as likely to sustain an orofacial injury.
The best mouthguard should fit your mouth and other oral structures perfectly. The material should also be FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)-approved.
A good mouthguard should also:
These are some of the best mouthguards for sports:
The Shock Doctor Pro Mouth Guard is one of the best mouthguard options for sports. Each pack contains 12 pieces of boil-and-bite mouthguards.
Custom mouthguards are always a good option. However, getting them made at the dentist can be expensive. Sporting Smiles mouthguards offer a fair price for this type of mouthguard.
Their product is 3mm thick, which is perfect for comfort. However, it’s not the best option for hard impact sports like boxing or football.
The best thing about the Impact mouthguard is that it’s specifically designed for combat sports. The product is 6 to 7 mm thick and is made from dental grade materials.
The SISU mouthguard would have been the best overall, but this boil-and-bite mouthguard is too thin for most contact sports. It’s better suited for people engaging in limited-contact sports.
AITUSI’s mouthguard is specifically designed for kids. It comes in two sizes to accommodate children under 10 years old, and those who are 10 to 15 years old.
Shock Doctor’s Double Braces Mouthguard is specifically designed for people with braces. It also meets all the national and state high school wrestling rules for upper brace bracket coverage.
You don’t need to boil the mouthguard to fit it into your mouth. The medical-grade silicone is designed to fit the shape of your teeth and gums perfectly.
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Avoid using hot water when you’re cleaning your mouthguard. Don’t chew on it or share it with other people.
Rinse the mouthguard with cold water or alcohol-free mouthwash before and after use. You should use dish soap and water with a toothbrush.
Always use a sturdy storage container with holes to promote air circulation. Make sure the mouthguard is completely dry before you close the container.
Bring your mouthguard during dental appointments so the dentist can check its durability and condition. Replace the mouthguard if it:
Mouthguards protect the teeth and surrounding soft tissues from injury during sports. Dentists recommend them for people who participate in contact and limited-contact sports.
The three types of mouthguards include:
The best option is a custom mouthguard, but these can be expensive. Stock mouthguards are the least expensive, but they’re also the least effective.
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