No, it doesn’t. Technically speaking, you can choose to wear any kind of mouthguard you want. There is no hard-and-fast rule. Whether you need either a sports guard or a guard to prevent teeth grinding in your sleep, there are options galore. You can find all kinds online and in drugstores in addition to the dental office.
But the Brookhaven dentist Dr. Hosaka cautions that you need to understand your priorities before deciding on a mouthguard.
You should consider four specific areas when choosing between a professional and store-bought mouthguard:
- Protection level
Store-bought mouthguards are definitely cheaper than ones designed in a dental office. Remember, however, that you get what you pay for. If you only want the cheapest option, then you can short yourself on the more important features of a mouthguard (like concussion protection.)
Custom-made mouthguards will fit your mouth exactly and minimize the chance for slipping and damage. They’re made of more durable material, so you can count on them to protect your smile during initial and subsequent trauma instead of falling out half way through.
Comfort and Fit
Boil-and-bite mouthguards may seem like the quick and economic way to get the perfect fit. But without professional design, your store-bought guard will cause you more trouble than it’s worth. Too loose or too tight, and you won’t bother wearing the guard enough for it to do you any good. The better it fits, the more it protects and comfortable it is to wear.
Generally, the cheaper the mouthguard, the less force it can withstand. It’s worth the expense to pay for high-quality materials and personalized design to ensure a comfortable fit and protection.
Not sure whether or not you need a mouthguard? Want to learn about more options for protecting your teeth? Schedule a consultation at Elegant Smiles to find out.