What are the Different Types of Mouth Guards?
All mouth guards are not created equal. Depending upon the design and materials used, mouthpieces will vary in fit, protection, ease of maintenance and longevity. Listed below are several types of mouth guards. Consult your CDA member dentist before you make a decision.
Custom-Made. Formed by your dentist from a cast model of your teeth, these custom-made guards are designed to cover all the teeth and are shown in the literature to be the best type of protection. These mouth guards can cushion falls and blows to the chin. Custom-made mouth guards may be slightly more expensive than commercially produced mouthpieces, but they offer the best possible fit and protection and are the most comfortable.
Mouth-Formed. These guards are generally made of acrylic gel or thermoplastic materials shaped to fit the contours of your teeth. They are placed in boiling water then attempted to be formed and molded to the teeth. They are commercially produced and do not offer the same fit and protection as a custom fitted mouth guard made from a model of the mouth.
Ready-Made Stock. Commercially produced, off-the-shelf mouth guards are the least expensive, but also the least comfortable and the least effective protective mouthpieces. These rubber or polyvinyl pre-formed guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. They offer no attempt at fit whatsoever and are not recommended in the dental literature.