The Battle of Mouthguards: Custom-Made vs Off-the-Shelf

mouth guard

In the past, patients had to come in and see their dentists in person if they wished to avail of dental products that could improve their dental health, like braces or custom mouthguards. However, technology has progressed to the point where you can now buy these items online. 

With the rise of off-the-shelf mouthguards, you might be wondering whether they are the right fit for you. 

Ultimately, you will need the advice of your dentist to make a decision. If you require a general overview, then this article is for you. 

What Is a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards have many uses. One of the most common forms of mouthguards you can see is athletic mouthguards, which athletes wear to protect their teeth from sudden impact. 

Another example is the dental mouthguard. 

Dental mouthguards function to prevent teeth grinding, a condition referred to as bruxism. Mouthguards also help correct temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Disorder.

What Is an Over-the-Counter Mouthguard?

Over-the-counter mouthguards bear a resemblance to the ones athletes use. As previously mentioned, they work to prevent teeth grinding instead of giving you protection from impact. In addition, the material used for over-the-counter mouthguards isn’t thick like custom-fit mouthguards. Instead, it’s thinner and more pliable to fit a broader range of people. 

Over-the-counter mouthguards offer modest protection. However, if your jaw moves or dislocates it during sleep, the mouthguard won’t provide much protection anymore. If you clench your teeth hard, you may end up biting through the plastic. Given these, it’s easy to see there are plenty of disadvantages to over-the-counter mouthguards.

Still, since it is cheaper, many people prefer this version. Over-the-counter mouthguards cost between $15 to $35. Unlike the custom-fit version, you will need to boil it for a certain amount of time for it to become soft and pliable before fitting it to your mouth perfectly. You can make adjustments using scissors too. Do not worry—mouthguards come with instructions.

What Is a Custom-Fit Mouthguard?

Dentists prescribe custom-fit mouthguards to people in need. They use a mould to measure the patient’s teeth, and since the mouthguard is personalised, dentists can make adjustments to address the severity of the patient’s clenching and grinding. 

Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards, custom-fit mouthguards can offer you maximum comfort and protection. Plus, they’re durable as well. Thanks to their tailored shape, custom-fit mouthguards eliminate any unwanted movement. It’s also worth noting that the thickness of the mouthguard depends on the patient’s case, but the material typically used is thermoplastic. 

Unlike an off-the-shelf mouthguard, a custom-fit mouthguard lasts for years because it does not lose shape. You may need to have it replaced every few years or so depending on its wear and tear and whether there are changes in your mouth or teeth. Since it is customised, it is more expensive than its off-the-shelf counterpart. It can cost from $100 to $700, depending on your case, the material used, and other specifications involved.

What Now?

Custom-fit and over-the-counter mouthguards each have advantages and disadvantages. If you are unsure which type of mouthguard works best for you, you may want to consider visiting your local dentist. 

Their expertise allows them to make appropriate recommendations and can even assist you in acquiring custom-fit mouthguards. What is important is for you to stop your teeth grinding because it poses health risks if you fail to address it over time.

If you’re looking for a reliable clinic to visit, check out Enamel Dental Studio. 

Looking for custom mouthguards in Brisbane? We offer many services for our customers. We make custom mouthguards, which are personalised according to your liking. We also provide dental implants, perform enamel dentistry, and more. If you need to protect your teeth, contact us today!

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