Mouthguards are important in keeping your teeth safe, whether playing a sport or at risk of grinding your teeth at night. If you are considering making a custom one, talk to your dentist to find out which type is right for you.
Designed to protect your teeth differently, depending on the type of custom mouthguard and the material it is made from, these dental tools can come in three types, which we’ll explore in this article.
Dental mouthguards can be made from different materials, each with different properties. Some materials are better suited for less noticeable mouthguards but offer less protection against impacts. Other materials are better suited for more visible mouthguards but offer more protection against shocks.
Therefore, the type of material results in the kind of custom mouthguard you get, ranging from a thermoplastic one, a laminate one, or an acrylic one.
The Kinds of Custom Mouthguards
- Acrylic: This is the best choice for custom mouthguards that are intended to be worn during everyday activities, not specifically for sports or physical activities. Acrylic is light, rigid, and can even be transparent to seem subtle and less noticeable when worn.
These mouthguards are commonly used in instances where shock absorption is less of a concern since their main intent is to maintain the position of the teeth over long periods.
As we’ll see later on in the list, acrylic mouthguards, like laminate and thermoplastic ones, are custom-made by a dentist to precisely fit the contours and shape of the wearer’s teeth. This helps ensure that each tooth is kept in its correct position.
- Laminate: Multi-material or laminate custom mouthguards are the best type in this list as they provide more comfort and protection than thermoplastic mouthguards. This is because laminate mouthguards are made of different layers of material, some softer and some firmer, to distribute shock absorption and pressure evenly.
You might have seen a few of these in boxing matches or NBA games since laminate mouthguards provide the best protection against impacts and other potentially damaging forces.
Laminate materials used for custom mouthguards can come in a wide variety of colors and designs, giving the wearer more control over the look of their mouthguard. This can be especially helpful for coordinating with team colors and jerseys.
- Thermoplastic: Thermoplastic is a type of material that is most often used in store-bought or over-the-counter mouthguards. This material is firm yet pliable and usually around 3–4 mm thick. You can heat this thermoplastic material using hot water to make it softer. Then, you can use gentle bite pressure to slightly re-mold the material to fit your mouth. Like the laminate variant, thermoplastic mouthguards also come in many different colors, so you can choose the one you like best.
Thermoplastic mouthguards are the most affordable type, but they don’t offer as much protection as custom-fitted mouthguards. However, they’re often not as comfortable to wear because they come in limited sizes, so they’re not recommended by dentists or orthodontists. Custom mouthguards from more advanced materials offer better protection and a more comfortable fit.
Finalize Your Mouthguard at Manassas Smiles
You can keep reading at part two if you’re still uncertain about the custom mouthguard you want. If not, you can book your appointment at Manassas Smiles today and get yours in less than a month. Book now through our website today!