The Sacramento Dentistry Group Answers: Why Use a Custom Mouthguard?

Mouthguards regularly prevent sports injuries around the world. Their necessity is seldom questioned, but is a customized mouthguard really essential? Why mouthguards are needed and why customizing is effective are discussed in this article.

​The sight of athletes using mouthguards is very common in professional sports. Football players spit them out after plays. Fighters reinsert them right before returning to combat. Basketball players chew them during timeouts. Youths and amateurs likewise require mouthguards for many different sports, and the dentists at the Sacramento Dentistry Group recommend this practice. But why is it necessary to use a mouthguard? And are customized ones really better?

Protection is Key

The assumption is that a mouthguard is only there to protect the teeth, and indeed they help to accomplish this. But an even more important reason for wearing a mouthguard is to protect the oral soft tissues, specifically the tongue. Tongue injuries, including severe lacerations, can, unfortunately, be caused by the player’s own teeth during collisions. A mouthguard helps to protect against this form of injury.

The American Dental Association publishes a list of sports that it suggests should require mouthguards for greater safety. Most all of them involve physical contact. It should be kept in mind, however, that even solo sports create significant potential for oral injury if falls or collisions are possible while engaging in the activity.

Why Go Customized?

Very cheap mouthguards are sold at sporting goods retailers and drugstores. These are commonly referred to as “boil and bite,” because they are heated by boiling and then chomped down upon to create a simple impression of the teeth. Anyone who has ever used one of these can attest that the fit is generally poor, the mouthguard seldom fitting tightly.

Poor fit has at least two consequences: 1) it’s more likely for the mouthguard to get dislodged from the teeth, limiting its usefulness; 2) it’s less likely the athlete will use it regularly if it is uncomfortable to wear or interferes with speech. A good fit is essential to guaranteeing greater levels of safety and compliance.

Customized mouthguards are created from impressions of the teeth made with dental plaster. These mouthguards fit “like a glove,” because they are tailored to the patient’s teeth, jaw and mouth. Speech is much easier and the guard doesn’t bounce around when worn. Customized mouthguards are more expensive, but they are also built with better materials, longer lasting, more comfortable and more effective. With mouthguards, people really do “get what they pay for.”

To get more information about customized mouthguards and their benefits, contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group at 916-538-6900 or visit their website at

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group