Many athletes in contact sports complain that off-the-shelf mouth guards offer a bulky fit or can make it hard to breathe. This is especially true for athletes with braces. An uncomfortable mouth guard sometimes leads to athletes opting to not wear their mouth guard at all!
Tooth fractures and having a tooth knocked out are two of the more common dental emergencies. It’s estimated that each year over 20,000 teeth are knocked out due to contact sports. The American Dental Association recommends that athletes participating in contact sports be fitted for a custom mouth guard.
There are two types of custom mouth guard materials for athletes to choose from.
Vacuum-fitted mouth guards use a moldable thermoplastic material to conform to your teeth. The mouth guard is then trimmed and polished for comfort. These mouth guards tend to last around a year.
Pressure-laminated mouth guards are a relatively newer product. These pieces are molded using multiple layers. Many athletes prefer them over vacuum-molded mouth guards for fit and comfort. Pressure-laminated pieces have an average lifespan of around two years.
Your dentist can help you decide what type of mouth guard is right for you.
If you have any questions about custom mouth guards or if you would like to be fitted for one, please feel free to call us at (616) 453-0002 to schedule an appointment.