Choosing the Right Mouth Guard: A Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Nick (pimguy)

There are many things to consider when choosing the right mouth guard

By Bobbie Quinn, co-founder, Gladiator Custom Mouthguards

Surprisingly, there are a lot of choices when it comes to mouth guards. You have to consider different types, styles, designs, materials, and special features.

Choosing the right mouth guard has become very complicated, considering it’s the smallest piece of equipment in your bag. That’s because mouth guards are an essential component of protection. While the options and choices may seem overwhelming, this guide will provide you with some help.

Here are the four most important factors to consider when buying a mouth guard:

1. Comfort or Protection?

What do you think is most important: being protected by a mouth guard or being comfortable wearing one?

It’s actually a trick question, because the answer is both! Yet, while custom mouth guards provide the best of both worlds, the level of protection and comfort may still vary based on personal taste.

Are you sensitive to mouth guards and gagging while playing? Or is the fear of losing your teeth more of a concern? Depending on your preference you may want to find more streamlined options, or one you are sure offers the proper protection.

Whether you’re buying one for yourself or your young athlete, personal preference matters.

2. Sport Specific

You may not realize it, but the mouth guard you purchase actually depends on the sport you (or your child) play. Each sport demands a different level of protection, and some sports and leagues even have specific mouth guard rules and requirements.

Oftentimes, choosing the right mouth guard for your sport (most specifically hockey) simply comes down to one question: do you wear a full cage or shield?

If you are wearing a full cage or shield, you want a mouth guard with a thinner frontal profile with added protection against upper and lower jaw collisions, due to potential body contact or falls. If you are only wearing a half shield or nothing at all, you want a mouth guard that features more protection in the front, thus preventing injury from sticks and pucks.


3. Personalization

Do you prefer to show off your team colors or logo? How about flashing a little personality with a cool design? Or maybe you like to keep it simple with just your name and number?

Complete customization gives you the ability to display your identity through your mouth guard. Go as big as you want, with full color, logo, name and number… Or keep it minimalist and business-like with a simple clear model. The level of personalization is entirely up to you.

4. Braces

Braces are one of the most important factors to keep in mind when it comes to buying a mouth guard. Not only because they are a substantial investment, braces are easily damaged and often cause irritation to the wearer. That makes protecting them highly important, and also means the protection must not interfere with the brackets and wires.

Only a custom mouth guard that’s engineered to your specific mouth structure can prevent interference and irritation. That’s because custom mouth guards are designed with a special channel to fit over brackets and wires without inhibiting orthodontic treatment or alignment.

When it comes to purchasing a mouth guard, it’s important to focus on the key factors—from comfort and protection, to sport-specific cuts and personalization—and to choose your options based on your personal preference.

If you are still unsure about which mouth guard you need, this article can help: Which Mouthguard Is Right for You? is reader supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

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