There are three types of mouthguards:
- Custom-fitted. These are made by your dentist for you personally. Since they are customized they usually offer the best fit.
- Stock. These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
- Boil and bite. These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, in your child’s dental growing years (until age 12 years) I recommend that they have a new mouthguard every 6 months for proper fit. It may not be practical for you to have a custom made mouth guard every 6 months so you may want use a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard until you child has lost all their baby teeth.
If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.