When it comes to mouthguards across numerous sports and activities, few factors are more important than fit. A well-fitting, comfortable mouthguard is paramount for protection and safety while competing in many sports, while a poor-fitting one risks injury and other problems – and if you’re an athlete in any such sport, you should know how to evaluate a given mouthguard for fit using a few basic qualities and factors.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we’re happy to offer mouthguards for a huge range of sports, from custom Muay Thai and MMA mouthguards through football, hockey, basketball and mouthguards for many other sports. We’ve assisted numerous clients with finding the right mouthguard, not only for their sport but also for their specific mouth. Whether for your current mouthguard or for any new mouthguard you’re considering, what are the top factors to evaluate when it comes to fit and comfort? This two-part blog series will go over all the important areas to keep in mind here.
First and foremost, you need a mouthguard that will stay in place securely at all times during a game or contest. You should not have to bite down on the mouthguard or use your tongue in any way to keep it in the proper position – if this is the case, you’ve chosen the wrong mouthguard. In addition, the mouthguard should stay secure even through contact of any kind, even heavy contact.
One good way of testing this is to use your tongue. With the mouthguard sitting securely in your mouth, try to remove it without using your hands at all – by only pushing with your tongue. If the mouthguard is properly fitted, it will stay in place and will not move; if it’s not, it might come out on its own.
Another important theme to track is whether the mouthguard fully covers your mouth, including your top teeth and the entirety of your gum line on both the top and bottoms of the mouth. If any of your teeth or gum areas are exposed during activity, you should consider another option; at the same time, if there’s so much material that it’s extending into your soft palate, you might have actually purchased too large a mouthguard and should consider downsizing.
Talking and Breathing
Another known quality of a properly fitting mouthguard: It will not block your ability to talk or breathe in any way. The intake of oxygen is vital to athletes during competition, and any significant obstruction here threatens your health and athletic performance – any breathing issues, or related speaking issues that don’t allow you to communicate clearly with teammates, should be immediate cause for a change in your mouthguard.