The American Dental Association recommends that athletes participating in contact sports are fitted for a custom mouth guard. There are essentially three different types of mouth guards you can choose from. Finding the one that is right for you often depends on use, need and cost.

Stock mouth guards are simple and inexpensive. You can find them at most sporting goods stores. The tray is inserted into the mouth and you are ready to play. The most common complaint with these mouth guards is that they can make it hard for you to breathe.

Boil-and-bite mouth guards are also available at sporting goods stores. While they cost a little bit more than a stock mouth guard, they do offer a little bit more of a custom fit. You simply place the piece in boiling water to soften the material and then you bite down on it. The material molds to the general shape of your teeth. When it becomes firm, you are ready to play. Many athletes complain that this type of mouth guard still feels bulky in the mouth.

Custom-fitted mouth guards offer the ideal fit and protection. There are two types of custom mouth guards for you to choose from.

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 that have a lifespan of around 2 years. Many athletes prefer them over vacuum-molded mouth guards because of fit and comfort.

Your dentist can help you decide what type of mouth guard is right for you.

If you have questions about what type of mouth guard is right for you or if you would like to be fitted for a custom mouth guard, please call us at 801.785.2574 to schedule an appointment.