The Proper Way To Mold Your Sports Mouth Guard

Mouthguards may be an uncomfortable piece of equipment, but they are also one of the most important. Imagine losing a tooth, affecting how you smile, talk, and eat. Preventing injuries to your face and mouth is of paramount importance, and that's where mouthguards come in. Like helmets, mouthguards cushion blows taken to your face, lowering the risk of a split lip, tongue, or broken teeth, explains Westermeier Martin Dental Care.

Many people think of American football players or boxers when they think of mouthguards, but the American Dental Association actually recommends that many different athletes, from soccer to ice hockey to basketball, wear mouthguards to protect themselves from injuries. However, for the highest amount of protection, the mouthguards should be properly molded to the athlete's jaw. This is notoriously difficult, sometimes requiring multiple tries and mouthguard types and brands before finally working. However, it's an important part of preventing injuries during a game.

Properly follow instructions to mold your mouthguard

Most mouthguards will come with instructions to help you properly mold the equipment to your teeth. However, most mouthguards can be molded in a similar fashion, explains BattleSports.

1. Boil water in a small pot then submerge the mouthguard so it is just covered by the water. Be careful not to keep the mouthguard in for so long that it melts. Instead, it should be warm enough to be pliable.

2. Carefully take the mouthguard out of the water. Quickly (but gently) wipe away the excess water then wait a few seconds for the mouthguard to cool so you don't burn your mouth. Finally, push the mouthguard into the top row of your teeth and bite down, pressing the tongue against the roof of your mouth. Once you feel like you have a good seal, wait about 30 seconds, holding down without moving the mouthguard.

3. If you feel like your fit is perfect, place it in cold water to help solidify the mouthguard, according to OralMart. If it's not a perfect fit, you can start again from the beginning, boiling the mouthguard to make it pliable again.

Don't worry if this takes a few tries. You may even think you have the perfect fit, only to use it in practice and realize it's not a good fit. And don't forget to properly clean it.