The American Dental Association estimates that mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football.
Mouthguards help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
Unfortunately, the word “mouthguard” is universal and generic. There are crucial differences between stock and custom guards and the impact to an athlete’s health & safety.
The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. If you can’t afford a custom-made mouthguard, you should still wear protection.
Made by your dentist specifically to fit your mouth and comfort, these are more expensive than the other versions.
Boil and bite
Available at most sporting goods stores and drugstores, the boil-and-bite mouthguards may offer the next best fit to custom made mouthguards. Immerse in water (boiled) to soften them, then insert them into the mouth, to adapt to the shape of the mouth. Always follow the manufacturers instructions. CusMbite MVP is a boil and bite mouthguard that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Inexpensive and ill-fitting, these come pre-formed, ready to wear. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.