Types of Braces Mouthguards
There are a few different types of mouthguards available from your orthodontist and some specialty retailers. These include stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguard, and custom mouthguards from your dentist or orthodontist.
- Stock Mouthguards. Occasionally, mouthguards will come in a set shape, also known as stock mouthguards, meaning that there will be minimal to no adjustment possible in the piece's shape according to your jaw. A stock mouthguard is the least expensive, but these rarely fit perfectly, providing minimal protection to teeth and braces as a result. While these may be suitable for some athletes, these are not the best choice if you are specifically looking for a mouthpiece for braces.
- Boil and Bite Mouthguards. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive than stock mouthguards, but they can be heated and remolded several times as braces cause the teeth to change position. Materials like medical-grade silicone allow the boil and bite mouthguard to adjust to your jaw's shape and accommodate some of the changes that occur while wearing braces.
Custom Mouthguards by Your Dentist/Orthodontist. At the dentist's office, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth, and a dental laboratory will create a well-fitted mouthguard. The dentist will place the mouthguard on your teeth to ensure that it fits your bite well. Mouthguards molded by dentists can be expensive, especially given that the reason you or your child has braces is to move teeth around.
Before deciding which type of braces mouthguard is best for you or your child, check with the coach, instructor, or league of each sport you or your child plays to determine if a double mouthguard (covers top and bottom teeth) is required. Some sports like wrestling require a mouthguard covering both the top and bottom teeth if there are braces on both. Most mouthguards only fit over the upper arch, though the coach can also tell you if the sport requires a mouthguard for the lower arch as well.