The Play-by-Play on Mouthguards

One of the best methods to prevent dental-related sports injuries is to wear a mouth guard. Consult your dentist to find out what is the most suitable type of dental device for your specific needs.

There are three basic types of sporty mouth guards – Stock; Boil and Bite; and Custom-fitted.

Stock Mouth Guards
These pre-formed mouth guards are inexpensive and you can readily find them at your local sporting goods store. Because they are not designed to match the dimensions of your mouth, they offer minimal protection and usually do not fit well. If you’re on the hunt for the most inexpensive and accessible mouth guard solution for your kids, stock mouth guards are one to consider. However they are sometimes difficult for little mouths to keep in and use effectively – they can however end up in more in hands rather than in mouths.

Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
Also found at most athletic stores and pharmacies, Boil and Bite mouth guards allow a slightly better fit than the stock mouth guard as they do attempt to conform to the shape of your mouth. As the name suggests, you are required to heat the guard in hot water so that it becomes soft, then insert it into your mouth and allow it to cool, allowing it to conform to the shape of your teeth and gums using tongue and biting pressure. While it isn’t a perfect fit, Bit and Boil mouth guards may provide a more customised fit than Stock mouth guards.

Custom-fitted Mouth Guards
Custom-fitted mouth guards are just as the name suggests – a guard customised by your dentist to allow an individualised fit specific to you. The accurate fit of these mouth guards allows for maximum comfort, retention and protection. Custom fitted mouth guards can be fabricated in a variety of colours (go team colours!) and in varying thicknesses, depending on what level of protection is needed. Due to the accurate fit of custom-fitted mouth guards, it’s also easier to breathe with (in comparison to stock and boil and bite guards) and to clearly tell your teammates about your game-winning play strategy.

Custom-fitted mouth guards can also be tailored for children who wear braces or people who have undergone extensive dental work.

While custom-fitted mouth guards are the most expensive of the three options, the benefits far outweigh the cost. If you take into consideration the cost of the dental repairs from a ball (or knee) to the face, a custom mouth guard doesn’t seem so expensive after all.

nib health insurance may pay benefits towards the cost of customised mouth guards. You can call nib on 13 14 63 or log on to nib Online Services to review your dental cover.

Looking for a mouth guard to keep you protected this sports season? Find your nearest nib Dental Care Centre by phoning 1300 345 300 or visit