Mouth guards do an important job at protecting your teeth, soft tissues and tongue from impact, especially when playing sports. They can also be worn at night when you sleep to protect your teeth from wear and tear if you grind your teeth. The type of mouth guard you choose depends on your lifestyle choices and budget. Let’s take a closer look at answering “what are mouth guards made of”?
What Are Mouthguards And What Do They Do?
A protective mouth guard is designed to be fitted over the teeth of your upper jaw. A mouth guard acts as a barrier between your upper teeth and your lower teeth, tongue and soft tissues. In the event that they come into contact with each other, or are hit by an outside force, the impact of the force will be absorbed and protect the wearer from damage and injury.
What Are Mouth Guards Made Of?
There are three primary types of mouth guards that can be purchased.
These are ready-made mouthguards, manufactured by a number of sports brands. They are usually available in standard sizes but are less likely to fit well than custom or boil and bite types.
Boil and bite mouthguards
Also called mouth adapted, boil and bite mouth guards are made out of thermoplastic and are manufactured into a size and shape, to be adjusted by the person using it. The most common material for boil and bite mouth guards is EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate. EVA has a flexible and rubber-like quality, which means that it can absorb a fair amount of impact.
Custom made mouthguards
Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth in order to cast a custom-made mouthguard.
The impression is usually made out of dental putty and sent to a dental laboratory where a number of different materials can be used to create your mouthguard, including:
Vacuum foam is used most often for single layer mouthguards. It is not the best material for fit but it produces a mouthguard with better protection than a boil and bite type.
Pressure laminated mouthguards are best for multi-layer designs as they produce a well-fitting, comfortable and highly protective mouthguard.
Used mostly by professional and semi-professional athletes, impressionless mouthguards are manufactured from medical grade thermal polymer, that can be activated using hot water. This ensures a superior and comfortable fit that enables athletes to communicate with one another and drink while wearing them. Furthermore, it will stay in place for an entire game without slipping.
Thermal polymer offers you the best level of protection against impact because it absorbs more of it. It is also cast in a custom shape for your mouth and teeth, ensuring you more protection against the impact of force.
If your dental concern is teeth grinding at night, a custom mouthguard is also a good choice because it will offer you the best level of protection while you are asleep.
To find out more about what are mouthguards made of and what material is best for you, please get in touch: