At Greater Vancouver Orthodontics, we recommend our patients wear custom-made sports mouth guards if they play sports during their braces treatment.
Sports Mouth Guards are extremely important when it comes to keeping your orthodontic appliances and your mouth and face safe if you play sports while wearing braces.
However, 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 least expensive, and can be readily found in most sporting goods stores. The main benefit of these is the price; they’re quite cheap.
However, stock mouth guards are typically one size fits all, and there’s not much you can do to adjust the way they fit. They can be very bulky, and can make speaking and even breathing somewhat difficult. And most importantly, they do very little to actually protect you.
Boil & Bite Mouth Guards
These are also widely available at sporting goods stores. They are also inexpensive, and provide a better fit, and better protection, than stock mouth guards do.
Boil and bite mouth guards are made of a thermoplastic material that you place in hot water to soften, and then place in your mouth to shape around your teeth, using your fingers and tongue.
These mouth guards can still be fairly awkward and uncomfortable to wear, and while they fit better than stock guards, the fit still isn’t great.
Custom-Made Mouth Guards
Custom mouth guards are made to fit you exactly, usually at your dentist’s (or orthodontist’s!) office, or by a laboratory 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 teeth exactly. 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!