The Facts About Mouth Guards

A mouth guard is made of soft plastic or laminate material that protects the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue. It is highly important that children or adults involved in sports wear a mouth guard.

Types of Mouth Guards to Choose From:
There are four different types of mouth guards that you can choose from to protect both children and adult teeth in sport activities:

  1. Stock Mouth Guards — These mouth guards can be worn without any preparation to the mouth guard itself. They are offered in small, medium and large sizes and can be purchased at an athletic or sporting goods store. They tend to wear quickly and may need to be replaced during the sports season.

  2. Boil and Bite Mouth Guards — These mouth guards are boiled in water for a period of time and then formed to the teeth by applying pressure. They are available through most athletic and sporting goods stores. They tend to wear quickly and may need to be replaced during the sports season.

  3. Vacuum-Formed Mouth Guards — The dentist can offer patients this option in the dental office. The dentist would take a dental impression of the patient's mouth and then the mouth guard is fabricated to fit the impression of the teeth. This type of mouth guard covers all teeth and may be more expensive than the boil and bite and stock mouth guards.

  4. Pressure Laminated Mouth Guards — The laminated mouth guards provide many benefits in protecting the mouth. The mouth guard is thicker and provides protection against dental injury or concussion. The laminated mouth guard must be custom made by a dentist and will be more expensive than the vacuum formed mouth guards.1

Please talk to your dental professional about mouth guards and how they can help you reduce oral injuries in your mouth. If you are an athlete, consider having a vacuum-formed or pressure laminated mouth guard made that will fit you exclusively.

© Copyright 2009 Colgate-Palmolive

1 The North Carolina Dental Society Mouth Guard Project. Reviewed information at

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.


  • Wear a mouthguard – if you’re playing any contact sports, wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth from injury and trauma

  • Avoid hard foods and candies – to help protect your teeth from injury while eating, avoid biting hard candies and ice