You spend a lot of time taking care of your teeth. You (hopefully) brush and floss them, you take them to the dentist, and if they're not aligned, you strap wires on them. All of this takes time and money. With over $500 million spent every year on sports dental injuries, preventing dental injuries with a decent teeth protector will cost you far less.
When it comes to choosing your mouthguard, there is one thing for certain, not all mouthguards are created equal. They can vary in protection, comfort, cost, colors and more.
If you decide to invest in an athletic mouthguard, you'll definitely want one that will do it's job well: protect your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, a protective mouthguard should have the following qualities:
With the above characteristics in mind, we have taken a closer look into the pros and cons of each type of mouthguard. We will start from worst to best.
Despite costs, a custom fit mouthguard will provide the best protection to your teeth. In 2001, a study of 301 Australian football players proved that wearing a custom fit athletic mouthguard had a significantly lower rate of injury than those wearing an over-the-counter teeth protector. A design that is custom fitted to your mouth will remain secure and provide protection to every corner of your teeth that a boil-n-bite can't get to.
While it may seem like a small piece of gear may not have an effect on your game, having a properly fitted mouthguard can make all the difference your performance, oxygen intake and communication on the field. When the big game is ahead of you, the last thing you want to worry about is your uncomfortable athletic mouthguard.