A dentist in a white coat holding a clear retainer mouthguard in his hand

Over The Counter vs Custom Mouthguards

Among the most common causes of dental injuries are sports-related accidents. Thirty-four percent of all sports injuries involve the face, and approximately 5 million teeth are lost in sporting activities each year.

The solution to this dilemma for both children and adults is to wear a reliable orthodontic guard while engaged in physical activities, especially team sports.

These mouthguards guards prevent about 200,000 dental injuries annually, but some are better than others.

Mouthguards absorb and spread the force of impacts that might otherwise cause serious dental or facial damage, which can result in lost time at work or school while recovering.

These injuries can also be very painful and may result in temporary or permanent damage. However, two general types of dental guards are available: over-the-counter models and custom mouthguards.

A dentist in a white coat holding a clear retainer mouthguard in his hand

Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards

Over-the-counter mouthguards can be purchased at most chemists and sporting goods stores and are available in two types.

Stock guards come preformed and are supposedly ready to wear straight out of the packaging.

They are the least expensive of all guards but rarely fit well. In addition, they can make breathing difficult and talking nearly impossible.

The other type of the over-the-counter mouthguard is the boil-and-bite mouthguard. These mouthguards allow for a better fit because they are first softened in boiling water.

Mouthguards guards prevent about 200,000 dental injuries annually, but some are better than others.

After taking them out of the water, they are placed in the mouth and clenched in the jaw. As they cool, they somewhat form to the shape of your mouth, but the fit may still be very loose.

The plastic used for these guards also tends to be thinner, providing less protection than is necessary in most situations.

It is also possible to bite down on these mouthguards incorrectly, causing them to form an erroneous mould that is uncomfortable and ineffective.

Custom Mouth Guards

Because it’s generally recognised that over-the-counter guards provide less protection than custom mouth guards, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that anyone who is engaged in sports where contact is possible wear a custom mouthguard.

Even though these orthodontic appliances are a little more expensive than stock and boil-and-bite guards, emergency dental work is even more expensive, and broken or missing teeth have other drawbacks.

Custom mouthguards are individually fit by a qualified dental practitioner, and are made from thicker, more durable material to provide maximum protection. They can also be designed to be worn with braces without any loss in protective ability.

Did you know that custom mouthguards are made to cater for teeth movement? Especially important for youngsters!

During your visit to your dental practitioner an impression of your upper teeth will be taken and transferred to a laboratory where after a few weeks the mouth guard will be fabricated specifically for you.

Alternatively if you’re a patient of ours, you’ll get your mouthguard much faster because we have our own on-site lab so the moulds don’t need to be sent anywhere!

Once your mouthguard is ready your orthodontist will ensure it fits securely and is comfortable to wear.

These mouthguards are available in numerous colours, or you can have a multicolour mouthguard for a little extra fun while you’re playing and  team discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Start your journey now!
Fill out the form and we'll contact you to setup your initial consultation...

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Close Menu