There are many different types of mouthguard, or gumshields, and we know trying to pick the right one can be confusing.
There’s all shapes, sizes and prices to choose from.
And unfortunately they are not a one size fits all!
However they play such an important part of the GAA right now in preventing serious facial and dental injuries, so getting the right one is really important.
In this blog we’re going to explore the different types of mouthguard or gumshield, the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of each one.
So if you’re a parent, footballer or sports professional, this blog will help you.
Why Choosing the Right Type of Mouthguard Matters
In case you weren’t aware, mouthguards are now compulsory in the GAA. We have all that covered in this blog.
But essentially, the mouthguard or gumshield could be the difference between getting a horrible and potentially expensive dental bill or escaping without one.
Here are some quick reasons why getting the right one matters:
- Preventing Dental Injuries
- Protecting Against jaw fractures
- Reducing the risk of soft tissue injuries
- Help in the fight against concussion
- Boost confidence and importance
Types of Mouthguard: Custom Fitted
When it comes to mouthguard protection, custom-fitted mouthguards are regarded as the gold standard.
These mouthguards are professionally crafted to fit each person’s particular tooth and gum shapes.
What you should know about specially moulded mouthguards is as follows:
The unique fit of custom-fitted mouthguards is one of its main benefits.
They are made using exact impressions made by dental professionals, guaranteeing a perfect fit with the wearer’s dental anatomy.
Superior comfort, stability, and retention are provided throughout sporting activities by this tailored fit.
Custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best defence due to their specialised design.
They provide greater coverage and impact absorption because they cover all of the teeth and gums.
The exact fit helps disperse pressures uniformly, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma, jaw fractures, and dental problems.
Speak Clearly and more comfortable
One of the most annoying things about wearing mouthguards is not being able to speak clearly with them in.
However, the comfort of custom-fitted mouthguards is well known.
The normally high-quality and flexible materials utilized enable a secure fit that doesn’t restrict speaking or breathing.
On the field, athletes can communicate clearly without the mouthguard posing an extra discomfort or obstacle.
These mouthguards are made to survive repeated use.
They are made of strong, durable materials that ensure the mouthguard will hold up even when put under a lot of physical strain.
Custom-fitted mouthguards have a longer lifespan than other mouthguard kinds when taken care of properly.
In order to have a custom-fitted mouthguard, dental experts are needed.
They build a mouthguard that is specifically suited to the person’s requirements after taking impressions of their teeth.
This expert advice guarantees that the mouthguard fits precisely and offers the best protection.
Remember though, while customer fitted mouthguards are the best type to get, expect to pay considerably more for them.
So, if you think you might lose it or misplace it, then maybe it’s not the best option.
Types of Mouthguard: Boil and Bite
In order to balance convenience and customisation, many athletes and GAA players choose boil-and-bite mouthguards.
These mouthguards are simply fitted at home and are widely accessible at sporting goods stores.
What you should know about boil-and-bite mouthguards is as follows:
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are made to fit a specific person’s mouth through a fitting procedure.
The thermoplastic material used to create the mouthguard softens when submerged in hot water.
It is put in the mouth after boiling and formed by chewing down on it.
The mouthguard can be moulded to fit a person’s teeth and gums with the use of heat and pressure.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards have the benefit of providing a semi-custom fit.
The capacity to mold the mouthguard allows for some personalisation to the individual’s dental architecture, though not as precisely as custom-fitted mouthguards.
In comparison to stock mouthguards, this enhances fit, comfort, and protection.
In terms of bang for buck, boil and bite mouthguards are a great option.
Mouthguards that you boil and bite are reasonably priced and generally accessible at sporting goods stores.
For athletes who need a better fit than stock mouthguards but might not have access to custom-fitted choices or who choose a more affordable option, they provide an affordable option.
Comfort and Protection
By covering the teeth and gums, these mouthguards offer a respectable amount of protection.
A tight fit is made possible by the moulding process, which improves comfort and retention during physical activity.
The thermoplastic material provides some shock absorption, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma and dental problems.
Not the perfect fit
Boil-and-bite mouthguards have some benefits, but they also have some drawbacks.
The fit might not be as accurate as solutions that are specifically made for them, and athletes with unusual dental or orthodontic traits might have trouble finding the perfect fit.
They could also need to be updated more regularly because the material might not be as long-lasting as mouthguards that are fitted specifically for you.
When players need a better fit and protection than stock mouthguards can offer, such as during GAA games, boil-and-bite mouthguards are ideal. To achieve the best fit and level of protection, it’s crucial to carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions during the fitting process.
Types of Mouthguard: Stock Mouthguards
Stock mouthguards are ready-to-wear, pre-formed mouthguards that may be bought off the shelf.
Compared to customised and boil-and-bite choices, they may have restrictions but offer ease and rapid usability.
What you should know about generic mouthguards is as follows:
Based on the general age ranges, stock mouthguards are available in a variety of sizes, often small, medium, and large.
Athletes and GAA players must pick the mouthguard that fits them the best from the available selections because these mouthguards are neither adjustable nor customised.
The fit might not be as exact as mouthguards that are custom-made or boil-and-bite.
Convenience and Affordability
One of the main benefits of stock mouthguards is their accessibility and low cost.
They can frequently be found in random shops, online and sports shops.
Stock alternatives are an accessible and affordable solution for athletes who need a minimal level of protection or who need a temporary mouthguard.
They also don’t require any fitting so can be worn straight out of the box.
Stock mouthguards offer a minimum amount of protection, but because they cannot be customised, they may not fit you perfectly.
The fitting could be slack or thick, which could have an impact on comfort, memory, and speech.
With stock mouthguards that don’t fit tightly, athletes may struggle to speak clearly or breathe comfortably.
Limited Protection and Durability
Stock mouthguards may provide less protection than custom-fit or boil-and-bite solutions because to their standardised design.
Some teeth and gums may not be completely covered by the fit, leaving them open to injury.
Furthermore, the materials used in pre-made mouthguards could not be as strong, resulting in a shorter lifespan and a greater need for replacements.
Stock mouthguards have their time and place in the game. However, they are much less effective than their counterparts.
They can be appropriate for athletes who play low-impact sports or those who have temporary dental work.
However, custom-fitted or boil-and-bite mouthguards are typically advised for better fit, comfort, and protection for people taking part in high-impact sports like GAA games, where the risk of orofacial injuries is higher.
No matter the type of mouthguard selected, adequate maintenance and care are essential to ensure longevity and cleanliness too.
The mouthguard should be cleaned with fresh water after each use, kept in a ventilated container, and kept out of extreme heat or sunshine.
Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear on the mouthguard and replace it as needed.
Remember, a high-quality mouthguard is an investment in your oral health, general wellbeing, and sports performance.
Check our Intersport Elverys range HERE or below.