In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the most notable issues with regular chewing on a mouthguard. Whether done consciously or subconsciously, mouthguard chewing only limits the protection the mouthguard offers you, including cases where it will ruin the item entirely.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're here to not only offer a wide range of custom mouthguard options for any sport you're interested in, but also to provide expertise on proper use and care themes. What are some of the top recommendations we make to our clients on how to avoid mouthguard chewing that risks the integrity and protection of the item? Here are a few.
Fit and Material
First and foremost, the single best tool you have to protect yourself from eventual mouthguard chewing is the selection of a proper-fitting mouthguard. The best way to achieve this is by purchasing a custom mouthguard, which is designed to fit only you. This ensures that it won't slip around in your mouth, move out of the way when you need protection, or be too loose to protect you. If you do find yourself with a regular prefabricated mouthguard from a store, there's only so much adjusting and repairing you can do before it becomes less worthwhile than a new one.
It's also important to consider mouthguard material when making your selection. Today's custom mouthguards are much stronger and more durable than those in past decades, and more options are available than ever before.
Even if you've chosen the perfect mouthguard to fit your mouth, it won't do much good if you aren't wearing it properly. The mouthguard should stay tight and snug in your upper teeth and gumline, without shifting around or becoming loose. If it does move out of place, you should replace it with a new one.
If your mouthguard develops even minor cracks or chips, replace it immediately, as the damage can rapidly increase from there. You should also never sleep in your mouthguard. It's made to be worn for specific sports activity only -- there are other dental mouthguards your dentist may recommend for sleep, but these are an entirely separate category of products.
For many, the use of a strapless mouthguard helps them avoid the temptation to chew. The strap actually creates a chewing point for some people, especially those who may do this out of habit or nerves while they're participating in a given sport. If you're among these people, you may find that a strapless mouthguard is the best option for you, helping you avoid any conscious or subconscious desire to chew.