3 Common Questions about Custom Mouthguards
If you’re an athlete, you may be considering a custom mouthguard to protect your mouth while you play sports. However, you probably have a couple of questions. Are custom mouthguards really better than other types of mouthguards? Can they improve your performance while you play? How can you make your mouthguard last? Take a look at the answers that will help you make your decision about whether a custom mouthguard is right for you.
Why Is A Custom Mouthguard Better?
Only a custom mouthguard is made to t the exact shape of your mouth.
If you’ve been playing your sport for awhile, you’re probably familiar with some of the mouthguards on the market. For example, there are the stock mouthguards that you can pick up at drugstores. They’re inexpensive, but they can be an uncomfortable t – they usually only come in small, medium, or large, which may not be specific enough sizing to t your mouth comfortably. That less-than-perfect t also means that the mouthguard will be less than protective.
There are also boil-and-bite mouthguards, found at sporting goods stores. These allow you to form the mouthguard to the shape of your mouth by boiling the device to soften the material, then biting down on it and using your teeth, tongue, and mouth to shape the mouthguard to t your mouth. While these mouthguards are somewhat more comfortable, they often provide insufficient protection for the back teeth.
Custom mouthguards are made from an exact mold of your mouth, so there’s no chance of an uncomfortable t. This exact t makes the custom mouthguard more protective and ensures that all of your teeth are protected, not just the ones in front. The material used to make custom mouthguards is also thicker, which makes them more protective and resilient.
Can Mouthguards Enhance Your Performance?
A mouthguard may be able to improve your performance, but its primary purpose is to keep you safe from injury.
There are some custom mouthguards on the market that are sold as performance-enhancing mouthguards. The concept behind these mouthguards is based on scientific research that suggests that chewing or biting affects the nervous system, helping to increase stress and improve endurance.
However, as of yet, there have been no clinical trials on performance-enhancing mouthguards that can prove whether or not they really have an enhancing effect on your performance. The good news is that a custom mouthguard will definitely help protect you from injury, and you’ll certainly perform better if you can avoid injury. Consider any other performance-enhancing effects that you notice as a bonus.
How Should You Care For a Custom Mouthguard?
Because custom mouthguards are more expensive than other types of mouthguards, you have a vested interest in taking good care of yours and making it last as long as possible. Luckily, it’s not hard to care for a custom mouthguard. You should clean the mouthguard before you use it – a toothbrush and toothpaste will do the trick. You’ll also need to clean it with antimicrobial soap or mouthwash after you use it. Keeping it clean will prevent the growth of microorganisms that can make you sick.
Store the mouthguard in a sturdy, vented container, and keep it out of direct sunlight or boiling water. Check frequently for signs of wear and tear, and have it replaced if you notice rips or tears in the material. If you are a parent picking out a mouthguard for a student-athlete, you’ll need to replace your child’s mouthguard more frequently, because your child will need an improved t as their mouth grows and changes.
If you’re ready to get your own custom mouthguard, contact us for an appointment.