Have you ever heard the phrase “bigger isn’t always better”? It’s one that applies in numerous consumer areas, and one of the most notable here is those purchasing mouthguards, whether for themselves or their kids.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we’ve run into a number of new clients who simply believe that the bigger and thicker their mouthguard, the better the protection will be for their mouth during sport or any contact activity. We’re here to reverse this kind of thinking – thickness simply is not the key quality you should be looking for in a mouthguard, and the best custom mouthguard options are effective precisely because they only include thickness in the areas where it’s truly needed. Let’s go over some tips here that apply to any use of mouthguards, from boxing or football mouthguards to basketball, hockey or many other sports.
Thinner Doesn’t Equal Less Protection
Simply put, having a thinner mouthguard than some others you might see on the market does not mean you’re less protected than you would be in these other cases. Thickness is just one factor among several for mouthguard quality – others include fit, design and even the materials used.
Not only do mouthguards eventually stop increasing their effectiveness at a certain thickness, they also begin to experience specific negative diminishing returns and may actually protect the mouth far less than a properly-tailored custom mouthguard that’s thinner in several areas.
Uniform Thickness: Not Ideal
One key factor here: Virtually no quality mouthguard today has the same uniform thickness throughout the entire piece. You simply don’t need the same level of material across every inch of the mouthguard. These kinds of models will be too bulky for many people, leading to discomfort and even possible breathing or speaking issues that you do not want to be dealing with during physical activity. In addition, they may actually have material that puts certain portions of the mouth at higher risk than they would have been otherwise.
One major benefit (among many) of a custom mouthguard is the way it varies in thickness based on the area in question. Specifically, custom mouthguards are tailored to be thicker in what we call impact zones: The areas in the front of the teeth and under the back molars. These are the areas at the most risk during contact sports or activities.
On the flip side, areas like the backs of the front teeth and the roof of the mouth have thinner or even no material. This is because these areas are virtually never impacted, and therefore don’t require the same level of protection. This kind of variation keeps the wearer comfortable while maintaining full protection.
For more on why thickness isn’t the only factor to think about when purchasing a mouthguard, or to learn about any of our custom sport mouthguard options, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.