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Has it been proven that more expensive, custom-fit guards provides more protection than boil & bite?

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

The effectiveness of a mouth guard, whether custom-fit or boil-and-bite, depends on various factors such as the materials used, design, and proper fit. While custom-fit mouth guards are generally considered to provide a higher level of protection compared to boil-and-bite mouth guards, it may not always be the case that a more expensive, custom-fit mouth guard provides significantly more protection than a simple boil-and-bite mouth guard.

Custom-fit mouth guards are typically made by dental professionals using impressions of an individual's teeth. They are designed to fit snugly and comfortably, providing a precise fit and better retention in the mouth. They may also be made from higher-quality materials that can offer better shock absorption and durability. On the other hand, boil-and-bite mouth guards are made from thermoplastic material that softens in boiling water and then moulded to fit the individual's teeth by biting down on it. While they can be less expensive than custom-fit mouth guards, the fit may not be as precise, and the material may not be as durable.

Several studies have shown that custom-fit mouth guards may provide better protection against dental injuries, particularly in high-impact sports or activities, compared to boil-and-bite mouth guards. Custom-fit mouth guards may also offer better comfort and ease of speech and breathing, which can contribute to increased compliance in wearing them during sports or physical activities.

However, it's important to note that the level of protection offered by a mouth guard also depends on factors such as the sport or activity being played, the intensity of the contact, and individual factors such as the shape and condition of the teeth, jaw, and gums. A properly fitted boil-and-bite mouth guard that is made from high-quality materials and fits well can still provide adequate protection for many individuals, especially for low- to moderate-impact sports or recreational activities.

In conclusion, while custom-fit mouth guards are generally considered to provide a higher level of protection compared to boil-and-bite mouth guards, it's not always guaranteed that a more expensive, custom-fit mouth guard will provide significantly more protection. It's important to choose a mouth guard that fits well, is made from high-quality materials, and is appropriate for the specific sport or activity to ensure adequate protection for the teeth and mouth. Consulting with a dental professional or sports medicine expert can help determine the most appropriate mouth guard for an individual's needs.

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