When playing sports, the risk for injury is always there. Wearing a mouthguard when you get hit in the mouth, face, or jaw, cushions and redistributes the impact so that the force of the blow is absorbed more evenly. A mouthguard is the barrier between your teeth and the soft tissue in and around your mouth. There always horror stories about how players not wearing one and almost biting off their tongue because their tongue was caught between their teeth during impact. Studies have even shown that mout guards help prevent chipped or broken teeth, and even cuts to lips, gums, and other soft tissue in the mouth.
Studies also support that wearing a mouthguard prevents more serious injuries, such as concussion, cerebral haemorrhage (bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain), and neck injuries. The Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine (CASM) issued a Position Statement in 2004 suggesting that mouthguards should be worn during participation in soccer "for the definite dental protection they provide and the possible role in concussion prevention."
There are three main types of mouthguards:
Stock mouthguards - These are ready-made and you wear them right out of the package. They are the cheapest guards out there, but will not fit well and you will be unable to drink water, speak clearly in them. They also absorb less shock since there is space between the guard and your teeth. You can buy these in stores and over the Internet for typically $7-$15.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards - These guards become pliable when heated. You put these types of mouthguards in hot water until it softens, and then bite into it to get shallow indents of your teeth. These still not fit as well (you will be able to speak or drink easily), but absorb slightly more shock than stock mouthguards. These are also sold in sporting goods stores and over the Internet for $10-$70.
Custom-made mouthguards: These guards are specially moulded to your teeth with the highest quality dental materials. You can get this done at your dentist for about $300+ and they would then send it to a lab to make your guard. The process will ensure the most comfortable fit where you can speak and drink, while also providing maximum protection covering the bone of your teeth. You can buy these at All Star Teeth for 70% less than your dentist, with even higher discounts with group rates for gyms, teams, etc. Contact us for more details!
Those are the three types of mouthguards, and why your custom-made mouthguards may not be the cheapest, but they will last the longest, while providing the most protection and comfort.