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How to Choose a Mouthguard

Sports mouthguards are increasingly utilized in a variety of sports, and required for many, due to the protection they provide against a variety of injuries to the face and teeth. While a mouthguard can be one of the smallest pieces of equipment in an athlete’s bag, it’s a critical piece of gear that can help prevent painful injuries and expensive dental and orthodontic work.

Shock Doctor Mouthguards

Mouthguard Protection

The most important aspect of any mouthguard is the protection it provides. Athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 2 times as likely to sustain an oral or dental injury, and treatments of those injuries can cost upward of $15,000! The National Federation of State High School Associations, requires a mouthguard for Football, Ice Hockey, Wrestling, Field Hockey and Lacrosse. However, many youth sports including basketball, also strongly recommend usage of a mouthguard.

The best mouthguards provide a warranty for injuries that occur while using their mouthguard. Make sure yours has one, or you may be paying for that dental work on your own!

Comfortable Mouthguards

Most mouthguards come in two varieties of fit: traditional Boil and Bite or Instant Fit:

  • Boil and Bite Mouthguards: This fit will conform to your teeth by first softening up the mouthguard liner in hot water, then biting into it and conforming the liner to your teeth shape. This provides a close fit that does not fall out easily, and provides excellent protection.
  • Instant Fit Mouthguards: These require no molding of any kind, and can simply be taken out of the packaging and used (after sterilizing in boiling water of course!) They are easy to remove when needed, between downs in football for example, and utilize soft bite pads to keep them comfortable.
Shock Doctor Women's Basketball Mouthguard

Sport Specific Mouthguards

While not every contact sport requires mouthguards, it’s proven that mouthguards reduce instances of tooth damage or loss, so we recommend that you use a mouthguard for any contact sport. Here’s some recommendations by sport:

  • Football Mouthguards: Football is a high impact sport, as such you‚Äôll want great protection from those hard hits. Many players opt for a mouth guard with an integrated lip guard, which not only protects the players‚Äô lips, but also is a great spot for cool prints like Fang Mouthguards.
  • Basketball Mouthguards: Basketball is a sport with lots of communication and quick plays, and you‚Äôll want a mouthguard that is breathable and easy to speak with. We recommend a slimmer design for basketball players with integrated breathing channels. These mouthguards are more comfortable, lightweight and are easy to speak and breathe with.
  • Hockey Mouthguards: Hockey players also take a lot of hard hits on the ice, but may not be required to have a full face mask as a football player would. Because of this, a mouthguard with sufficient protection is important for every player. You‚Äôll want a one with a strong exo skeletal frame to absorb impact.
  • Boxing & MMA Mouthguards: It‚Äôs no secret that boxers and MMA fighters endure powerful hits to the face, regardless of skill level. Look for a mouthguard designed for high impact with a strong frame and, ideally, protection for both your upper and lower jaw as hits to the face will be frequent.
Shock Doctor Mouthguards for Braces

Mouthguards for Braces

Orthodontic work is not cheap and you’ll want to ensure you protect your investment in those pearly whites with a braces mouthguard. Mouthguards for braces come in several different styles that can protect the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both for maximum protection. They protect not only damage to your teeth, but also provide protection from lacerations to the inner mouth from brace brackets.

Make sure you use one specifically designed for braces, or at least an instant fit mouthguard, as some traditional boil and bite mouthguards will not work with braces. The best braces mouthguards will accommodate changes in mouth structure as teeth adjust due to the braces.

Custom Mouthguards

While there are many varieties of mouthguards on the market, the best protection you can buy comes in the form of a custom mouthguard specifically molded to your teeth shape by a certified dentist. They are offered in several different styles including All-Sport and High-Impact to provide the appropriate level of protection based on your need.

When buying a custom mouthguard, you’ll first receive a molding kit to get an impression of your teeth shape. Once you’ve molded the impression, it will be sent to the dentist’s lab where the dentist will custom craft the mouthguard to your exact tooth shape. Last, you’ll receive the final custom shaped mouthguard. The process takes some time, but the investment is well worth it to have a custom crafted piece of protection for your teeth. Not to mention you can customize the colors to your liking, add text like your name or team name, and even add eye catching prints like Fangs or a USA Flag.

Shock Doctor Mouthguard Case

Mouthguard Cases

Mouthguards are small pieces of equipment, and easy to lose in a crowded gear bag full of pads, helmets, gloves, jerseys and pants. A mouthguard case helps for two reasons: First, it will help keep your mouthguard clean of dirt, grass, sweat, and bacteria. Second, you’ll probably be less likely to lose your mouthguard when utilizing the case, as the best mouthguard cases come with a carabiner attachment to hook and store in a safe spot.

How to Choose the Best Mouthguard

When choosing a mouthguard, consider the following before you buy:

  • Protection: Think about how often and how hard you may incur impact in a sport, and pick a mouthguard well suited for that use
  • Comfort: Ensure you mold the mouthguard correctly, or that it is comfortable out of the box if no molding is required
  • Sport: Every athlete has unique needs, and you‚Äôll want to consider the right mouthguard for the sport
  • Braces: Protect your investment in your teeth if using braces, and select a mouthguard designed for braces
  • Custom: If you‚Äôre looking for the absolute best protection, make the investment in a fully custom fit mouthguard
  • Case: Protect your mouthguard from all the things you don‚Äôt want in your mouth with a mouthguard case, and lower your risk of losing your mouthguard right before game day

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