As an athlete that plays a contact sport, your coach may require you to wear a mouthguard. You talked to your dentist and they recommended a custom-fit guard, but it came with a hefty price tag. You have seen mouthguards on the counters of your local drugstore or sporting goods store for cheap. But are those stock or boil and bite options really going to give you the protection you need during the game?
What Are Drugstore Stock or Boil and Bite Mouthguards?
The mouthguards that you can purchase from a drugstore or sporting goods store will be one of two varieties: stock or boil and bite. Stock mouthguards come in a variety of different sizes and are ready to wear immediately. Unfortunately, they are bulky, must be held in place with your bite, can make breathing and talking difficult, and provide minimal protection.
Don’t settle for a drugstore mouthguard when you can get a high-quality, low-cost, custom-fit mouthguard from SportingSmiles. Visit SportingSmiles today to give your teeth the protection they deserve.
A boil and bite mouthguards have the capacity to mold to your mouth. The guard is placed in hot water to soften the material. You place it in your mouth and gently bite down. Unfortunately, getting the bite just right is difficult. They also tend to be very thin over teeth that are most prone to damage.
Level of Mouthguard Protection: Drugstore Stock vs Custom-Fit
To get a better idea of how different mouthguards provide protection, a report from the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at various mouthguards and graded them by the level of protection. Here is their breakdown.
- Grade 0 – You have zero protection from dental and jaw injury by not wearing any mouthguard at all.
- Grade 1 – Drugstore stock mouthguards that require you to clench your teeth to keep in place provide the lowest level of protection. They state these can even be dangerous as they provide a false sense of security, can be easily dislodged, and may cause choking.
- Grade 2 – Slightly better than stock mouthguards, boil and bite options score a little higher but depend on the fitting process. If you bite down too hard during the fitting process, you can reduce the thickness and protection level.
- Grade 3 – Custom mouthguards older than five years old may have experienced wear, may have become hard or maybe too thin to provide optimal protection. In addition, your bite may have changed over the years and the guard may no longer fit as it was intended.
- Grade 4 – A mouthguard between two and five years old may have some of the same problems as an older guard or maybe starting to show signs of damage and reduced protection.
- Grade 5 – A new custom-fit mouthguard that is made too thin by their recommendations (3mm on the labial aspects, 2mm on the occlusal aspect, and 1mm on the palatal aspect). This type of guard does not provide optimal protection.
- Grade 6 – The highest level of protection offered is a grade 6 and comes from a custom-fit mouthguard meeting the measurement requirements above. This mouthguard offers the best protection against dental and jaw trauma, as well as reduce the risk of concussion.
Not only do mouthguards help protect the teeth and jaw from trauma during a game, but they can also help reduce your risk of a concussion. A 2014 study published by The Journal of the American Dental Association followed 412 high school football players. Half of them wore a drugstore stock mouthguard while the others wore custom-fit mouthguards. In the study, the average thickness of the stock mouthguards was 1.65mm in the posterior occlusal area while the custom-fit guards were 3.5mm. Of the players followed, 23 sustained concussion injuries. 14 were from the stock guard ground for an incident rate of 8.3 percent. Eight players from the custom group sustained concussions, for an incidence rate of 3.6 percent.
A Custom-Fit Guard Provides Your Best Protection
Forget the drugstore stock mouthguards. If you are looking for the best protection from a mouthguard, the answer is a new custom-fit guard. And it is recommended that you replace this guard every season. Now, we understand that a custom-fit guard from your dentist can be an expensive purchase. But at SportingSmiles, we can help make that purchase a little easier.
When you go to your dentist for a custom mouthguard, he makes a mold of your teeth. He then sends that mold out to a dental lab. But with SportingSmiles, you can bypass the dentist. Using our patented self-impression kit, you make your own mold to send back to our dental lab. This reduces the cost, allowing you to purchase the same high-quality guard for a fraction of the price. For more information, visit Athletic Mouthguards today.