Are custom or over-the-counter mouth guards more effective?

Playing sport in Australia is a national pastime. With many sports involving physical contact, protection against injury is a major concern. The prevention of dental and facial injuries should be one of the first considerations when thinking about safety in sport. So the question you should be asking is “which mouth guard will benefit me or my child the most?”

What is a Mouth Guard?

Quite simply, a mouth guard is a device that has been designed to fit over your upper teeth to help minimize against injuries to your mouth, teeth and jaw whilst playing contact sports. They can be custom fitted by your dental professional and are often covered by your private health insurance or they can be purchased over-the-counter, which are commonly referred to as “bite & boil” mouth guards.

Custom Mouth Guards vs. Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards

So you or your child play a sport where mouth protection is required. Now it’s time to decide which mouth guard will be the most effective and comfortable solution. The way your mouth guard is fitted is paramount for proper protection.

Mouth guards you buy from the chemist or sporting retailer are less effective and how comfortable are they? The comfort factor is important so you can concentrate on playing and not be distracted. Additionally, if they are not moulded or fitted correctly, they may actually deter away from their intended purpose.  This can lead to costly visits to the doctor or orthodontist. There’s no point spending money on a mouth guard if it won’t provide the proper protection. There is also the long-term negative impact on growth and development to consider with incorrectly fitted mouth guards.

If you or your child already have a mouth guard, you need to ask the following questions that can help determine whether the fit is correct:

  1. Do I have to bite or clench to keep my mouth guard in place?
  2. Do I gag when the mouth guard is fitted?
  3. Does the mouth guard only cover my teeth but not part of my gums?
  4. Does the mouth guard interfere with my speech?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your mouth guard is fitted incorrectly.

Custom fitted mouth guards are specifically designed to fit your mouth and they are more likely to stay in place. When fitted correctly, custom mouth guards will offer higher levels of protection. A custom fit will also make wearing mouth guards a more comfortable experience and you no longer have to worry about discomfort when playing your favourite sport.

Custom fitted mouth guards are also strongly recommended by The Dental Health Foundation and the Australian Dental Association.

Custom Fitted Mouth Guard Suitability

Custom fitted mouth guards are made specifically for the wearer. They hold a greater advantage over cheaper bite & boil mouth guards bought from a chemist or retailer.

Kilmore Dental & Specialist Centre comprise of a team of specialists who offer a professional level of customer service. We recommend patients of all ages who play a contact sport should consider custom mouth guards. If you already have a custom mouth guard, we can also check it for wear or tear or make adjustments if required.

Make sure you or your child’s mouth is properly protected by booking an appointment with the Kilmore Dental & Specialist Centre team today.