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Difference between Custom and Off-The-Shelf Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are used for a variety of reasons. Based on the usage and requirements, there are two main types, i.e. custom mouth guard and off-the-shelf mouth guard. To explain which mouth guard is right for you, below listed are the features and properties of both types.

Off-the-shelf mouth guards

These mouth guards are made for the sportspersons and athletes. Another purpose for which these mouth guards are used is to stop the teeth from grinding during sleep.

While the mouth guards for sports are made from thick plastic, the normal over-the-counter mouth guards are made of thinner plastic which is more pliable.

In order to make over-the-counter mouth guard fitting in the wearer’s mouth, the mouth guard is put into the boiling water for certain duration. This makes the plastic moldable. Then this mouth guard is placed carefully in the wearer’s mouth and he/she is asked to bite it gently. This bite then makes the mouth guard accustomed to the teeth structure.

Over the counter mouth guards are general purpose. It means anyone who is conscious about the safety of teeth can use these mouth guards during sports and athletic activities. Same goes for the normal mouth guards which are used to prevent teeth grinding during sleep.

There are some pros and cons of over-the-shelf mouth guards. Let’s start with the pros.

  • Affordable
  • Easily fitting
  • Easily available

The cons of these mouth guards are:

  • Not suitable for aggressive teeth grinders
  • May not last longer

Custom-fitting mouth guards

The mouth guards which are made on the prescription of dental professionals are custom-fitting mouth guards. These mouth guards are made from thermoplastic material based on the teeth impression which the dental professionals take.

Custom-fitting mouth guards are highly personalized because dentists would prescribe the thickness and strength of the material based on the wearer’s requirements. Hence, you will not have to make any adjustment in the mouth guard after it gets ready to wear. These mouth guards can be used for the same purposes as that of over-the-counter mouth guards.

Custom-fitting mouth guards are usually made only for the upper teeth but there can be situations when dentist would prescribe the second part to cover the lower teeth.

The making of this mouth guard involves impression of your teeth which is taken by the dentists. This impression is then used by professionals at the labs to create the mouth guard which is extremely durable and perfectly fitting according to your requirements. And since these mouth guards are made to precisely fulfill the wearer’s requirements, they ought to last much longer as compared to over-the-shelf mouth guards. So, whether you want them to support your teeth during sports, during night if you have the habit of teeth grinding, or any other purpose, custom made mouth guard is your best bet if you want ultimate safety.

With that said, there are some pros and cons of custom-fitting mouth guards. Let’s start with the pros.

  • Provides best protection
  • Highly durable
  • Fits precisely

And the cons:

  • Can cost more than over the counter mouth guards
  • Needs to be approved by the dentist

How Changing My Diet Saved My Teeth

Unexpected circumstances seems to be a theme of life. A few years ago I was lucky enough to find, enthral, and ultimately persuade my college crush to marry me. This lead to the normal get fit for the honeymoon stage of life. All was going well as two a day workouts at the gym gave fantastic results. I was swimming hard and weightlifting constantly. In order to keep up my muscle growth I made sure to eat lots of protein and healthy foods. THis mostly meant eating lots of meat and vegetables and cutting out desserts.

Well the honeymoon stage ended and the normal flow of life began. Stress creeps up and I found myself gaining weight. This was not the good kind either. All the muscle I had gained initially from swimming and weight lifting started turning into fat. This was not an all at once creep up kind of change. It was a slow study build, as my diet changed due to less time being spent in the kitchen.

Before I was married, I had lots of time to cook. My favorite meals were making healthy steaks and lots of fresh vegetables. Nothing is more fun than pulling out all the kitchen knives and slicing stuff up. It brings out the old Tim Taylor grunts and growls from the TV show Home Improvement. I spent lots of time talking with my mother to cook some old family recipes. As a matter of fact I found myself with a library of cook books!

What happened to my diet after getting married was less cooking and more fast food and easy meals. Hence the gaining of weight! Well also not spending 3 hours a day in a gym makes a difference as well.

It all started to go downhill when I started noticing that my teeth were getting more sensitive. Of course I have experienced this when using teeth whitening strips, but never from normal food. THe late night ice cream trips started to cause pain in my teeth. Not only did I notice this, but my wife did as well. Turns out we started to get cavities! We couldn’t believe that when we visited the dentist that we had fallen so far in our oral health.

This was a life changing experience shelling out money to a dentist to fill cavities. We started talking to the dentist and he asked about any diet changes, and we realized that we had not only gained weight, but that our eating habits had damaged our teeth. It was time for a change.

We started a new diet called the Wild Diet. It eliminated sweets all together and called for fresh food in all ways. Cooking healthy food became a priority in our lives. Lots of chicken and fresh veggies became the average meal. We stopped eating out and threw out all the condiments and most of the contents of our old fridge. The results were spectacular.

Our teeth stopped hurting, and we began to lose weight. All the lifestyle changes concerning food had caused unexpected consequences and extra costs. By simply cooking healthy food and maybe taking some extra calcium magnesium tablets we eliminated our need for more trips to the dentist.