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What are Mouthguards?

Mouthguards are designed to protect teeth from excessive wear or damage. Mouthguards are often used by athletes during sporting events but may also be needed to help protect people with braces or dental bridges.

Mouthguards typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining. There are three basic types of mouthguards available:


A custom-fitted mouthguard is considered the best option because they are made to fit your mouth perfectly. Custom-fitted mouthguards are made by your dentist by taking an impression of your teeth. They tend to be more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, they usually offer the best fit.

Stock or Pre-Made:

These are inexpensive and can be worn immediately. They are usually made of foam material. Typically, stock mouthguards do not usually fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult, which can be especially difficult to deal with if the mouthguard is for organized sports.

Boil and bite:

These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. However, boil and bite mouthguards often still do not fit as well as a custom-made mouthguard and may still feel bulky or may not fit well if you have braces. They are based on an "average" head and mouth size, and not everyone is average!

Insurance may cover some or all of the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard. The cost of a mouthguard may vary. Your dentist or orthodontist can review the best type of mouthguard for you.

At Glance Dental, the office offers custom-fitted mouthguards as a part of our comprehensive oral health services. If you have braces or other orthodontic treatment and regularly participate in athletics or contact sports, we strongly recommend having a custom mouthguard made, as your teeth and mouth are more prone to injury when you have braces.

The best way to get the most wear and protection from your mouthguard is to follow these general steps:

  • rinse your mouthguard before and after each use, or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste if possible.
  • occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water, rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry.
  • store and carry the mouth guard in a sturdy container that has vents.
  • never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water.
  • check for wear and tear to see if it needs to be replaced
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