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Reese Schwank
February 09, 2021

Why Isn’t There a Standard for Testing Mouth Guard Protection?




Mouth guards are extremely important when it comes to protecting your teeth and gums from serious injury, but how do you know which mouth guard is best?


When you shop for mouth guards, you will notice that they come in a wide range of designs and prices. Each brand claims that their mouth guard provides the best protection, but is there any standardized way to test their claims?


The short answer: no. Not yet. There is currently no standardized method for testing how well your mouth guard protects your teeth from serious injury..


When you look up mouth guard testing on YouTube, all that you find are customer testimonials and reviews. On the other hand, when you look up helmet testing on YouTube, you find various videos of laboratories demonstrating the standardized method for testing helmets, such as this news report from TODAY.


The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has multiple standards in place for testing helmets, which clearly define testing protocols and equipment specifications. With these standards, labs all over the world are able to test and evaluate helmets. These tests allow you to make an informed decision about which helmet will work best when it comes to protecting your precious brain. So why isn’t there a similar standard for testing mouth guards?


The only ASTM standard regarding mouth guards is for how to clean and store the guard. There is no standard for the protective performance of mouth guards because developing the testing equipment is a complicated problem. When testing a mouth guard one needs to consider not only the material properties, but also how the teeth, gums, jaw, and neck respond to an impact. Also, the small size of the mouth guard and its placement inside the mouth makes it much more difficult to gather accurate data compared to helmets which are much larger and worn outside the head.


We need a standard for testing how well each mouth guard protects your teeth so that you may make an informed decision when shopping for your next guard. Testing mouth guards is a complicated problem, but we hope that there will be a standard someday soon. It’s great to be able to talk, drink, and breathe, but we also want you to be assured that your teeth are well protected when you choose SISU.

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