Dental mouthguards, also known simply as mouthguards or sports mouthguards, are protective devices worn in the mouth to prevent injuries to the teeth, lips, gums, and jaw during sports activities. They are typically made of a soft, flexible material, such as silicone or rubber, that is designed to absorb and disperse the force of impact, reducing the risk of dental and facial injuries.

Here are some common types of dental mouthguards:

  1. Stock Mouthguards (Chemist/Sports stores): These are pre-formed and ready to wear right out of the package. They are often inexpensive and can be found at most sporting goods stores. However, they may not provide a snug fit and can be less comfortable than custom-fitted mouthguards.
  2. Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards (Chemist/Sports stores): These mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when boiled. After boiling, the wearer bites into the softened material, creating a semi-custom fit. They offer a better fit than stock mouthguards but may not be as precise as custom mouthguards.
  3. Custom Mouthguards (Dental Only): These mouthguards are made by dental professionals. They are the most expensive option but provide the best fit and protection. Due to the fact that they are well fitted to the individuals’ teeth and gums, they minimise the risk of movement of these structures during any impact. Dentists take impressions of the wearer's teeth and create a mouthguard tailored to their specific mouth shape. Custom mouthguards are recommended for athletes in high-impact sports and individuals with severe bruxism.

Mouthguards serve several purposes:

  • Protect Teeth: They prevent chipping, breaking, or knocking out of teeth during contact sports or accidents.
  • Cushion Impact: They absorb and distribute the force of impact, reducing the risk of jaw fractures and concussions.
  • Prevent Soft Tissue Injuries: Mouthguards also protect the lips, cheeks, and tongue from cuts, bruises, and other injuries.


It’s essential to choose the right type of mouthguard based on your specific needs and activities. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to ensure the mouthguard remains effective and hygienic.

Replace mouthguards if they become worn or damaged. If you’re unsure about which mouthguard is right for you, consult with a dentist who can provide guidance and create a custom mouthguard if necessary.