We offer several different mouthguard types at Damage Control Mouthguards, including fully customizable options that can even include text of your choosing. We also offer a style known as “boil-and-bite,” one of the most common mouthguard styles on the market today – this refers to a mouthguard that you heat in boiling water to help form it to either your mouth or the mouth of your child for protection during various sports or activities. Our Grip Guard option is a good example of a boil-and-bite mouthguard.
If you determine that this mouthguard format is right for you or your child, it’s important to follow the right steps during the process of boiling and fitting the mouthguard. Let’s go over why this is an important area, plus the basic steps you should follow.
Why Fit Matters
A mouthguard that fits properly is an absolute must for all contact or intense sports and activities, particularly when children are involved. It protects not only the teeth it sits on, but also the gums, the lips, the tongue and other nearby areas. It’s so important, in fact, that the American Dental Association recommends that mouthguards are a standard piece of equipment for all athletes, even younger ones.
A mouthguard that does not fit properly, on the other hand, poses dangers. For starters, ill-fitting mouthguards are less likely to be worn by kids playing sports, leaving them susceptible to major oral damage. And for another, even when worn, a mouthguard that doesn’t fit well wont provide the same level of protection, and could even exacerbate certain risks.
Steps For Boiling and Fitting
Some basic steps to take when boiling and fitting a mouthguard:
Prepare the materials you need, including the mouthguard, boiling water, some tongs, and ice water if required (some models do, some don’t). Also have a towel on hand.
Boil: Using a small pot and just enough water to fully submerge the mouthguard, boil it using the instructions that are present on its packaging. These instructions will include the amount of time it should be boiled for and any other important details. In rare cases where there are no directions, plan to heat the mouthguard until you can mold it somewhat, but not to the degree where it’s melting.
Remove: Using the tongs, remove the mouthguard from the pot – try not to squeeze too hard and risk deforming the mouthguard while you do this. As fast as you can, place the mouthguard on the towel to get any remaining water off it.
Place in mouth: After just enough cooling time that the mouthguard isn’t too hot to put in the mouth, place it in with the guard against the upper front teeth. Then use your thumbs to push it back against the molars. From here, bite down against the bottom teeth and suck in the mouthguard so it also touches the top teeth. Leave it here for about 15 or 20 seconds, pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth to get a tight fit.
Cooling: Cool the mouthguard in cold water or just by leaving it out to air dry (some mouthguards should not be placed in cool water, and will say as much on their directions). After a few minutes of cooling, test the fit – if it isn’t ideal, you can start over and remold it.
For more on properly fitting a boil-and-bite mouthguard, or to learn about any of our custom mouthguard services, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.