A mouthguard is often an essential part of a players’ uniform when participating in contact sport. Mouthguards help to protect teeth from impact during sporting activities. Not as commonly known, they also provide support to the jaw and can help reduce the effects of a concussion.
Just in time to kick-off of this year’s sporting season, we asked our dentists to explain the differences between over-the-counter and custom-made mouthguards.
Mouthguards can be distinguished by two main categories – over-the-counter and custom-made mouthguards.
Over-the-counter mouthguards are available for sale at many sport equipment retailers. Well-known brands are Shock Doctor and Achilles. The prices for over-the-counter mouthguards usually range between $15 to $60. The variety of fits includes classic, slim, sport, and braces to cater for different shapes of teeth and mouths. The product range also includes different mouthguard thickness such as single, dual, and triple layers.
Some over-the-counter mouthguards have pre-made moulds for teeth to ensure a tight but comfortable fit. However, it may not fit as seamlessly as a custom-made mouthguard.
What is a custom-made mouthguard?
A custom-made mouthguard is uniquely made for its owner. You can buy custom-made mouthguards at most dental practices and mouthguard companies. To fabricate your mouthguard, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth. This can be done digitally with an intra-oral 3D scanner or with traditional trays filled with impression material. This helps the dental laboratory to create a mouthguard that provides a superior fit, matching your teeth and gum line.
At Coastal Dental Care, we offer three different types of custom-made mouthguards.
Single layer mouthguard
A single layer mouthguard is great for young children under the age of 12 as their teeth are still developing. It also helps them to get a feeling for wearing a mouthguard without it restricting them too much. The single layer is more flexible and makes the mouthguard less bulky.
Dual layer mouthguard
A dual layer mouthguard is recommended for contact sports with moderate physical contact. It is suitable for children above the age of 12 years and adults.
Dual layer mouthguard with hard insert
For athletes competing in high-impact sporting activities, we recommend a dual layer mouthguard with hard insert. It especially helps with extra protection as well as shock absorption to keep your teeth and jaw safe.
Benefits of a custom-made mouthguard
A custom-made mouthguard offers several advantages compared to the over-the-counter option.
The custom-made mouthguard is fabricated in a dental laboratory or on-site using the impressions of your teeth. This means, the dental technician be uniquely design it to fit your teeth, jaw and gum line. A seamless fit will result in greater comfort while wearing the mouthguard. This may also help to ensure it will always be worn during sporting activities leading to maximum protection.
At our Coastal Dental Care practices, you will have the option to choose from a variety of colours and customise your mouthguard in your preferred combination. Most practices also give the option to customise the mouthguard by placing initials, numbers, logos, or images on it. Therefore, you will be able to design a mouthguard uniquely for yourself or your child.
How much is a custom-made mouthguard?
Coastal Dental Care offers NO GAP dual layer, single colour mouthguards for all private health fund members with available dental extras cover. This means you won’t have any out of pocket costs for your custom-made mouthguard.
If you don’t have private health insurance, a mouthguard can cost between $80 and $199.