Sports mouthguards are essential devices people rely on to boost safety while playing different kinds of sports. The device is made of a resilient plastic that's worn over the teeth, so when you get a blow on the face or fall, your teeth won't be affected. The key to getting that much-needed protection is to choose the best sports mouthguard. But how do you make a choice now that the market offers different forms of mouthguards? Creating a list of questions before you shop can help. Here are examples of questions you should ask your dentist to make an informed choice.
What kind of protection do you need?
The first and most essential question you should ask before buying a mouthguard is the type of protection you need. Your requirements are determined by the kind of sport you intend to participate in. Usually, proper protection entails having a thicker layer of the material on the primary impact zones like underneath the molars and the front teeth.
However, the zones usually vary from one sport to another, so you have to determine your needs to get the most suitable sports mouthguard. Once you find the perfect mouth device, you'll be comfortable and reduce the risk of injury while playing. Your mouthguard should be able to protect you against cut lips, root fractures, broken teeth, soft and hard tissue damage, teeth avulsion and so on.
What type of mouthguard is suitable for your sports?
The market currently offers three forms of mouthguards — stock, boil-and-bite and customised mouthguards. Stock mouthguards are pre-formed so you can wear them right away. Unfortunately, they are the most affordable option, but they don't fit well and make breathing and talking difficult.
Boil-and-bite sports mouthguards are also pre-formed, but the shape can be changed. The mouthguard is boiled, and then you are asked to bite into the plastic, creating the right fit. Finally, you have the custom-made guard that's individually designed to suit your unique sport's needs. This is the best option for athletes since it offers a comfy fit and the best protection.
Which additional features should you consider?
Regardless of the type of mouthguard you choose, it's crucial to ensure that the device is comfortable, resilient and tear-resistant. It should buffer any form of damage to the teeth from physical contact and blows, and limit soft tissue damage. The mouthguard should also allow you to breathe and speak, and it be tasteless, odourless, easy to clean and durable.