Many people understandably rely on so-called “boil and bite” mouthguards promoted by sporting goods stores. These mouthguards are prepared by heating the template guard (usually in hot water) and then having the athlete bite into the template. However, research has shown that these simplistic implements provide little, if any protection, and dental researchers have advised that those currently available "provide a false sense of protection" and should not be promoted by dentists.1
Boil and bite mouthguards also fall short from providing good protection because many don’t adequately cover all of the teeth in the rear of your mouth. Further, because of their poor fit may cause them to slip out, cause gagging or trouble breathing, athletes may refuse to wear such mouthguards or alter them.
On the contrary, custom prepared mouthguards have been shown to decrease the risk of sports injuries by up to 99%. Research also suggests that a custom mouthguard may also provide some protection against concussions. Custom mouthguards also interfere the least with speaking, and studies have shown that they have little effect on the athlete’s ability to breathe, providing real competitive advantages to athletes.
For these reasons, Dr. Stacey recommend using a custom-prepared laboratory generated mouthguard specifically designed for sports protection. Dr. Stacey uses PlaySafe® mouthguards which are custom fabricated by Glidewell Labs, a premier United States dental laboratory. These mouthguards are tailor made for the type of sport played, and can be personalized with colors and designs.
More information about the Playsafe mouthguards is available on Glidewell's website here.