Types of Mouthguards and Their Purposes

Types of Mouthguards and Their Purposes

Nov 01, 2020

Mouthguards prevent your teeth from grinding, clenching when sleeping, or protect you from dental injuries while playing sports. Your dentist can also recommend special mouthguards to help prevent snoring and reduce signs of obstructive sleep apnea.

There are several types of mouthguards, and depending on your needs, you should consult your dentist to determine which ones are best for your condition.

What Are the Types of Mouthguards?

The several types of mouthguards you can choose for your teeth and other conditions include:

Stock Mouthguards

A stock mouthguard is recommendable for people who participate in contact sports such as boxing, basketball, soccer, ice hockey, field hockey, and rugby. The types of mouthguards are easily available in sports stores and cheap.

The stock mouthguards come in different sizes, either small, medium, or large, and cover only the teeth on the top jaw. Despite being cheap and easily available, stock mouthguards come with some disadvantages. Since they come in three specific sizes, they can be uncomfortable to wear and lack the proper fit.

Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are also available in sports and drug stores. They resemble stock mouthguards and are relatively cheap. However, unlike stock mouth guards, they come in one size that you can customize to fit.

Therefore, you need to place the mouthguard in warm water to soften, before placing it on your teeth for the best fit. After placing the mouthguard on your front teeth, you will bite down on it and get the best fit. You can also read the instructions the boil-and-bite mouthguard comes with for optimization.

Custom-Made Mouthguards

You can also get custom mouthguards for your teeth in your dentist’s office.  Your Phoenix dentist will take a mold of your teeth to help in making the custom mouthguards.

A custom-made mouthguard provides a better fit than both stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards hence more comfortable and hard to dislodge, especially during sleep. These types of mouthguards would be best for treating bruxism. The mouthguards are relatively expensive, but most insurance plans cover them.

Which Type Is Best for You?

The different types of mouthguards might look similar. However, each type has different functions.

Teeth Grinding

If you grind or clench your teeth, you might be at risk of dental wear and tear. Therefore, your dentist can help reduce the wear and tear effects by prescribing mouthguards.

By wearing a mouthguard while sleeping, you keep your top and bottom teeth separated. Therefore, even when you grind or clench your teeth, there will be no damage and effects such as tooth pain, sore gums, and pain on the jaw.

When you have bruxism, custom-made protective mouthguards would be the best option since they provide a perfect fit and comfort during sleep.


Some sporting activities carry a risk of falling, or being hit, resulting in dental injuries. Therefore, you can consider wearing protective mouthguards during contact sporting activities.  Some of the sports that require mouthguards include basketball, soccer, gymnastics, boxing, skating, rugby, hockey, cycling, football, and volleyball.

If you play contact sports, you can use stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards. However, boil-and-bite mouthguards are more comfortable than the stock ones.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Do you experience episodes of shortness of breath or loud snoring while asleep? If so, you might be having obstructive sleep apnea.

When you seek treatment for obstructive apneas, the doctor might recommend CPAP therapy or oral appliances such as mouthguards. However, mouthguards to help with apnea during sleepare not available in sports and drug stores.

Therefore, your dentist can make a custom mouthguard to help prevent the tongue back to the throat and hold the palate in place, preventing blockage of your airway. The mouthguards work by pulling the lower jaw forward, keeping your airway open.

Taking Care of Your Mouthguards

Taking care of your dental mouthguards is important to prevent damage.

To get the best results from wearing a mouthguard, at 7 Dental, we recommend the following:

  • Before putting on your mouthguard, you should brush and floss your teeth first
  • Rinse your mouthguard with cool water before putting it on
  • After removing the mouthguard, clean it using a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Check the condition of the mouthguard regularly to check for damages
  • Store your mouthguard in a ventilated and dry container
  • Keep the mouthguards away from pets
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