There are three different types of mouthguards including:
An ideal mouthguard should be resilient and tear-resistant, fit comfortably and be easy to clean while not greatly affecting phonetics or breathing.
Stock mouthguards are preformed trays that are loosely fitted over the teeth. These are inexpensive ready to wear and come in a limited number of sizes. These provide less coverage and are not as protective and therefore are only recommended as a short-term choice.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are made by your dentist using an impression of your teeth to allow the mouthguard to accurately fit to your mouth, allowing the best coverage and thickness. There are three levels of custom-made mouthguards ranging from single-layered mouthguards for low impact sports to triple layered mouthguards for sports such as boxing. These custom mouthguards are also available in numerous colours to ensure a suitable colour is done to your taste and appropriate for your sporting team.
Mouthguard should be rinsed in cold water after use, and then dried and placed in a container. They should be kept in cool temperatures to ensure no change to the shape and fit of the mouthguard.
Typically a 12 month review is appropriate to ensure good coverage and correct fit, especially for kids between the ages of 6-13 years old, as major changes will occur such as loss of baby teeth with adult teeth coming through.
Although stock and mouth-formed mouthguards are considered ok in the short-term, studies have shows boil-and-bite mouthguards can become dangerously thin in critical areas during formation, losing sometimes as much as 99 percent of their occlusal (top of the teeth) thickness. Furthemore, they provide less adequate cushioning, retention and absorption compared to custom-made mouthguards. Therefore Custom-fitted mouthguards are recommended by the Australian Dental Association as the appropriate form of protection during sports.