Mouthguards are an essential piece of protective equipment for many sports. A properly fitted mouthguard protects both the teeth and the jaw. Professionals often get custom fit mouthguards designed by a dentist or orthodontist. While these offer the most comfort and best protection, they are expensive. Shock Doctor has become one of the most commonly used commercial mouthguards and offers good protection and a somewhat customized fit.
Choosing the Mouthguard
Choose a mouthguard type and size. Shock Doctor offers a wide variety of mouthguards in a variety of designs and colors in both youth and adult sizes (see Additional Resources). Some only protect the lower teeth, some are low profile for the upper teeth and some protect both the upper and lower teeth and help protect the jaw from impacts. Shock Doctor also offers mouthguards that can tie off to a face mask on a helmet and ones that simply slip into the mouth. Some are also designed specifically to work with braces.
Preparing the Mouthguard
Fill a saucepan with water and bringing it to a boil. Drop the mouthguard in the boiling water for 90 seconds (do not exceed 90 seconds). Tongue tag should be facing down in water. Remove the mouthguard from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and run it under cool tap water for 1 second only to cool the surface temperature.
Fitting in the Mouth
Using a mirror, line up the mouthguard with the center line of the upper teeth; use the tongue tag on the mouthguard to center it. Place the mouthguard in the upper teeth, tongue tag facing upwards, pressing it first into the molars, then the front teeth. After fitting it to the upper teeth, bring the lower jaw forward and align it with the mouthguard. Suck out all the air from your mouth and press the mouthguard to your teeth through your cheeks, holding it there for 20 seconds. Remove the mouthguard and run it under cool water for 30 seconds. Test the fit by putting it back in your mouth. If it doesn't fit properly, repeat the process.