Mouth Guards - What types are available and why are they used?

Posted on 5/15/2024 by Brian Rounds, DDS
Photo of dentist holding mouthguard  Brian K. Rounds, DDS in Lacey, WAHave you ever heard of a superhero without a shield? Of course not! Our teeth deserve the same protection as any superhero's precious tools. That's where mouth guards come in – think of them as the ultimate shield for your smile!

But wait, there's more! Mouth guards aren't just for superheroes and athletes. They can be helpful for anyone who wants to protect their teeth from damage, whether it's from grinding at night, playing sports, or even just enjoying a good night's sleep.

So, let's dive into the world of mouth guards and explore the different types available and why they are used.

Types of Mouth Guards

There are three main types of mouth guards:

•  Stock mouth guards: These are pre-made and readily available at most sporting goods stores and pharmacies. They are the most affordable option, but they offer the least amount of protection and customization.
•  Boil-and-bite mouth guards: These are also readily available and can be customized to fit your mouth by boiling them and then biting down on them. They offer a better fit than stock mouth guards, but they can still be bulky and uncomfortable.
•  Custom-made mouth guards: These are made by a dentist to fit your mouth perfectly. They offer the best protection and comfort, but they are the most expensive option.

Why Are Mouth Guards Used?

Mouth guards are used for a variety of reasons:

•  Protecting teeth from injury during sports: Mouth guards can help to prevent chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth, as well as jaw fractures.
•  Reducing the risk of concussions: Mouth guards can help to cushion the blow to the head and reduce the risk of a concussion.
•  Preventing teeth grinding (bruxism): Mouth guards can help to protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding or clenching your teeth at night.
•  Treating TMJ disorders: Mouth guards can help to relieve pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.
•  Protecting teeth during dental procedures: Mouth guards can be used to protect your teeth during dental procedures such as teeth whitening or fillings.

Choosing the Right Mouth Guard:

The best type of mouth guard for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you are looking for the most affordable option, a stock mouth guard may be sufficient. However, if you are concerned about comfort and protection, a boil-and-bite or custom-made mouth guard is a better choice.

Caring for Your Mouth Guard:

It is important to care for your mouth guard properly to ensure that it remains effective and lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips:

•  Rinse your mouth guard with cool water after each use.
•  Brush your mouth guard with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste once a day.
•  Store your mouth guard in a cool, dry place.
•  Replace your mouth guard every six months to a year.


Mouth guards are a valuable tool for protecting your teeth and mouth from damage. By choosing the right type of mouth guard and caring for it properly, you can help to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Remember, when it comes to your oral health, don't be a superhero without a shield! Get yourself a mouth guard today and protect your smile!

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Brian K. Rounds, DDS, 1407 College St SE, Lacey, WA 98503, (360) 764-5236,, 7/11/2024, Associated Words: dentist Lacey,