Should You Get a Custom Dentist-Fitted Mouthguard for Sport?

If you play a contact sport, there's a good chance you'll need to wear a mouthguard. Sports like rugby, cricket and American football have a high risk of injuries to the mouth and jaw, and a good-quality mouthguard will protect you from serious damage.

When you're buying a mouthguard, you're faced with two main choices. You can either get an off-the-shelf product and mould it yourself at home or arrange to have a custom-fitted guard made by a dentist. Although the improved fit of a custom mouthguard is best, people are often tempted by the lower prices of shop-bought ones. For some people, however, a custom mouthguard is not just beneficial, it's essential. If any of these things apply to you, it's important to go custom.

You wear braces

It can be difficult to get a proper fit over braces when you buy a normal mouthguard. This will make it uncomfortable to wear and risks it not working properly. Getting a proper custom mouthguard from a dentist is really the only option if you're undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your dentist will ensure you get a good fit, so your guard will be comfortable to wear and will do its job well.

You grind your teeth

Because they're usually moulded at home by softening them with hot water, shop-bought sports mouthguards are made of thinner, weaker material. Even the ones not designed for shaping at home are typically fairly weak. This makes them less durable, so you'll have to buy a new one quite often. If you grind your teeth, it's likely you do so more intensely during the excitement of playing sport. Your mouthguards will wear through extremely quickly, so getting a tough custom mouthguard will save you money and keep you protected.

You play often

The more you play sport, the more risk there is of impacts to your face. It also means your mouthguard gets more use, so it will wear through faster. If you're in a league or you just play a lot, a custom mouthguard is by far your best option. It will keep you safe and provide you with extra comfort.

You play particularly risky sports

If you're into boxing or martial arts, impacts to your face and mouth are all but guaranteed. You need the best protection available, so you should go for a custom mouthguard. Anything with a high risk of projectiles hitting your mouth, like hockey, should also be played with a custom mouthguard, as any impacts are likely to be more severe and you need high-quality protection.