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Contact sports are one of the most common ways to lose teeth. From football to hockey, you can chip a tooth or have it knocked out completely. Neither is a wanted outcome, but with the added protection of a mouth guard, you can enjoy your favorite sport without worrying that you’re going to damage your pearly whites.

There are many different mouth guard options available. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Stock mouth guards are widely available and also the most inexpensive option. The guard slips into your mouth and you are ready to play. Unfortunately, many athletes complain that stock mouth guards sometimes make it hard to breathe and never seem to give a truly firm fit.

Boil-and-bite mouth guards usually cost a little bit more than stock mouth guards. They are made from a material that softens when heated and then hardens again once it cools. These mouth guards do offer a little bit more of a custom fit. To use them you simply soak the mouth guard in boiling water for a few minutes, allow it to cool for a moment, then bite down hard on it. The material molds to the general shape of your teeth. When it hardens, you are ready to play. One of the more common complaints with boil-and-bite mouth guards is that they can feel bulky in the mouth.

Custom mouth guards are top-of-the-line mouth guards, offering a custom fit and protection. Technology continues to advance in custom mouth guard materials and techniques.

Vacuum-fitted mouth guards use a moldable thermoplastic material to conform to your teeth. These pieces tend to last around a year. Pressure-laminated mouth guards are a relatively newer product with a lifespan of around two years. Many athletes prefer them over vacuum-molded mouth guards for fit and comfort.

Dr. Mark A. Osenieks can help you decide on the mouth guard that’s right for you. Call us today to set an appointment to get your mouth guard. Our number is (616) 453-0002.