Should My Mouthguard Be Custom or Store Bought?

blog-featured-image-custom-store-bought-mouthguardsAnyone participating in a sport should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. This is especially important for anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment. Braces and wires can damage the mouth if you receive a ball to the face.

Many people ask whether it is necessary to invest in a custom-fit mouthguard or will an over-the-counter one work just as well. To help you make the best decision for your situation, the orthodontic practice of Dr. Dennis Flanagan DDS MS has information about each mouthguard.

Over-the-Counter Mouthguards

These mouthguards are the more affordable option and can be purchased at a local sports store. They are fitted using the “boil and bite” method. This method consists of boiling water at home and then biting into the warm mouthguard so that the plastic can mold to the shape of your teeth. In general, these mouthguards will cost you anywhere from $15 to $35.

The pros of these mouthguards are:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to buy
  • Relatively quick fit

Some cons of these mouthguards are:

  • Do not last very long
  • Less able to withstand forces during sports
  • Can be ill-fitting

Custom Mouthguards

Prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material, custom mouthguards are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth. The impressions are then sent to a lab where the mouthguard is created. These mouthguards are highly personalized and can have many modifications based on what you would like. In general, these mouthguards can cost anywhere from $100 to $700.

The pros of these mouthguards are:

  • Provide the best protection available
  • Extremely durable

Some cons of these mouthguards are:

  • Can cost more
  • Require a dentist appointment

Finding the right mouthguard for you depends on what your preferences and needs are. Whether it’s custom or not as long as you are wearing a mouthguard, you are doing your teeth a favor! Be sure to consider your comfort/protection level, price range, and materials when making your decision. If you are unsure about what option is best for you, don’t hesitate to discuss it with Dr. Flanagan. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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