There is really no comparing custom fit to one-size fits all in the clothing world and the same holds true when it comes to sports mouthguards. The difference is that while custom fit clothes can be the difference between making a good first impression over seemingly sloppy, a custom fit mouthguard is actually designed to protect your health and improve your gameplay. Consider the following reasons to choose custom fit guards over ones you can pick up at the drugstore.
Reduce Injury Risk – A custom mouthguard is less likely to bruise or cut your face when you take a hit than a store-bought guard. Custom guards also reduce the risk of jaw dislocation, tooth loss, and neck injury. The guard acts as a buffer during impact so that the teeth do not puncture soft tissue or each other. The force of a hit is redistributed to cause minimal or no damage to the teeth and jaw. Perhaps one of the most important functions of the guard is to protect against concussions that can cause brain damage and potentially end an athlete’s career. The guard does this by absorbing much of the shock caused by the jaws being slammed together.
Designed for Comfort – Custom guards feel better than generic guards. This increases the likelihood that a player will actually wear the guard and be protected from injury. This is vital because one study showed players without a mouthpiece are 60 times as likely to suffer an injury to their teeth.
Improve Performance – Custom guards do not affect speech or breathing like a generic guard might. This allows an athlete to communicate effectively with teammates. It also allows the athlete to get the oxygen needed for optimal gameplay. Breathing properly allows a player to perform better and last longer.
The benefits of a custom fit sports mouthguard are clear. You get better protection than you would from a store bought mouthguard. The custom fit also encourages use of the guard because it is comfortable and does not affect gameplay like a poor fitting guard might.
Because of the dangers of playing without a guard, we encourage all athletes to have a custom fit guard made as soon as possible. If you are currently using a store bought guard, it is time to up your game and give your neck, head, and mouth more protection by upgrading to custom fit.