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Which One to Get: Off-The-Shelf or Custom-Made Mouthguard?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a mouthguard – from the material to the fit to the price. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to go for a custom-made or off-the-shelf mouthguard. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which is right for you.

Off-the-Shelf vs. Custom-Made Mouthguards

Off-the-shelf mouthguards are usually made from a softer material, which makes them more comfortable to wear but also means they don’t offer as much protection as a custom-made mouthguard. 

They’re also less expensive, so they could be a good option if you’re on a budget. However, they’re not always as effective at fitting snugly to your teeth, which could mean they don’t offer as much protection in the event of an impact.

Custom-made mouthguards are made from a harder material, which offers more protection but can be less comfortable to wear. They’re also more expensive, but the added protection is often worth the extra cost. Custom-made mouthguards are made to fit your teeth exactly, so they offer the best possible fit and protection.

So, which is right for you? It depends on your budget, activity level, and personal preferences. 

A custom-made mouthguard is the best way to go if you want optimal protection. But an off-the-shelf option could also be a good choice if you’re on a budget or not keen on wearing a mouthguard. An off-the-shelf mouthguard may be all you need if you’re a casual athlete. However, a custom mouthguard is better if you’re a competitive athlete or have sensitive teeth. 

Let’s see the pros and cons of both.

Pros of Using Off-the-Shelf Mouthguards

An off-the-shelf mouthguard is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable and comfortable option. Here are some of the benefits of using an off-the-shelf mouthguard:

  • They are much more affordable than custom-made mouthguards.
  • They are generally more comfortable to wear than custom-made mouthguards, as they are not as bulky.
  • They offer good protection against teeth grinding and can help to reduce the risk of teeth damage.
  • They are easy to care for and can be reused multiple times.
  • They are widely available.

Cons of Using Off-the-Shelf Mouthguards

Off-the-shelf mouthguards also have a few potential drawbacks. 

  • They may not fit as snugly or comfortably as a custom-made mouthguard. 
  • They may not provide as much protection as a custom-fit mouthguard. 

Pros of Using Custom-Made Mouthguards

Mouthguards are essential for protecting your teeth and gums while playing sports. They can also help to prevent concussions. Custom-made mouthguards are made to fit your mouth precisely and offer the best protection. Here are some of the pros of using a custom-made mouthguard:

  • They offer the best protection. Custom-made mouthguards are made to fit your mouth precisely, offering the best protection for your teeth and gums.
  • Custom-made mouthguards are more comfortable to wear than store-bought mouthguards. That is because they are made to fit your mouth precisely.
  • They last longer. Custom-made mouthguards usually last longer than store-bought mouthguards because they are made with higher-quality materials.
  • Custom-made mouthguards usually look better than store-bought mouthguards. 
  • You can select the color you want when you order a custom-made mouthguard. That is not possible with store-bought mouthguards.

Cons of Using Custom-Made Mouthguards

There are a few potential disadvantages to using a custom-made mouthguard. 

  • They can be more expensive than store-bought mouthguards. 
  • They require a trip to the dentist to get fitted, which takes time and effort. 
  • Once you order, it can take a few weeks to receive your custom-made mouthguard. 


There are pros and cons to both off-the-shelf mouthguards and custom-made mouthguards. Ultimately, deciding which type of mouthguard to use depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. If you are looking for the most protection possible, a custom-made mouthguard is the way to go. If you are on a budget or don’t mind sacrificing some protection for a lower price, an off-the-shelf mouthguard may be a good option.
If you are looking for a dentist in Manassas, VA, to provide you with quality mouth guards, we are the perfect place for you. Manassas Smiles offers complete dental care services under one roof, including cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and gum disease treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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