For such a small piece of sporting gear, it sure is confusing trying to find the right type of mouthguard.
Most people only end up realizing that they bought the wrong one long after the purchase, once they have tried it on and just like that, its money down the drain.
Is there a way to know which mouthguard will be right for you before trying it on? Yes, there is.
Read on, and you’ll find out what are the best football mouthguards to buy in 2021.
Best Football Mouthguards Reviewed
What to Look for In A Football Mouth Guard?
There are generally three types of mouthguards you can find in the market: ready-made mouthguards, custom-fit mouthguards, and mouth-adapted mouthguards.
Ready-made mouthguards, also known as instant fit mouthguards come ready to use right out of the box.
They don’t need to be altered to fit your mouth. So, as you can imagine, ready-made mouthguards might not offer the best comfort, and they might not fit very securely.
Custom-fit mouthguards need to be molded to your mouth and teeth. This is done by a dental professional.
These kinds of mouthguards are quite expensive, but they fit exceptionally well and are very comfortable.
Mouth-adapted mouthguards are also known as boil-and-bite mouthguards, and they are by far the most popular in the market.
Mouth-adapted mouthguards are designed to provide an adaptable fit specific to a particular user. So how is this achieved? The mouthguards have an inner layer that softens when put in hot water.
After softening, the user then places the mouthguard over their gums and teeth, leaving it to set to the shape of their mouth.
Mouth-adapted mouthguards have the advantage of being less expensive than custom-fit mouthguards.
At the same time, they give a tailored fit and are readily available from sporting goods retailers.
Comfort & Protection
As much as a mouthguard is designed for protection, the comfort offered by the mouthguard is just as important a consideration.
An athlete should never have to choose between the two.
The highest level of moth protection is of no use if you cringe at the very thought of putting it on.
When the guard is comfortable, you should be able to easily speak, breathe, or drink something while wearing the mouthguard.
As far as shielding your mouth and teeth goes, you can get an all-protection mouthguard, which doubles as a lip guard.
These types of mouthguards have a shield designed to cover the outside of your mouth.
Keep in mind that if you hold a vocal position such as a quarterback or any other of the team’s vocal participants, such a mouthguard would not be suitable for you.
This is because the design of the mouthguard would inhibit your ability to speak, seeing as your mouth will be covered entirely.
Strapped Vs. Strapless
If you are constantly losing equipment, then you might opt for a mouthguard design, which allows you to tether it to your helmet.
For this, you may go for a strapped mouthguard or a convertible one. A convertible mouthguard is whereby the strap comes on and off, as desired.
Strapless mouthguards are actually not allowed in certain leagues because then the coach cannot tell whether a player is wearing a mouthguard as required.
Besides, such mouthguards can go missing pretty quickly, especially during play.
Did you know that you can get a flavored mouthguard? Well, that seems like an exciting option, doesn’t it?
Some mouthguards may come infused with a fruity flavor to combat the taste of rubber.
The duration and intensity of the flavor may vary depending on the manufacturer, but some flavors may last an entire season.
How Should A Football Mouthguard Fit?
A proper fit has to be secure. You shouldn’t have to clench your teeth to keep the mouthguard in place. Neither should you be able to loosen the mouthguard easily with your tongue.
The point is for the mouthguard to stay securely in place, even if you happen to nudge it a bit during play.
At the same time, one should be able to speak clearly and breathe comfortably while wearing the mouthguard.
If you can’t breathe with ease or hold a conversation while wearing the mouthguard, then it is not the right fit for you.
The amount of coverage provided by the mouthguard is another factor to look into.
Most people have a misguided idea that if a mouthguard is to offer optimal protection, then it should completely cover all your teeth.
This is not the case.
A fitting mouthguard should stop just before your second molar.
Also, the mouthguard should not leave the roots of your teeth exposed and vulnerable; but it should also not completely cover your upper jaw.
The mouthguard ought to cover all your teeth (with the exception of the back molars), and part of your gums.
A proper fit shouldn’t extend too far back or overwhelm your upper jaw. If the mouthguard makes too much contact with your soft palate such that it makes you gag, then that’s an ill fit.
FAQ about Football Mouth Guards
Does the Mouthguard Come with A Strap?
Some mouthguards do come with a strap, while others have a strapless design.
Furthermore, there are mouthguards that have a convertible design whereby you can take the strap off and put it back on as needed.
It’s all about personal preferences, as well as whether your league has specific regulations concerning mouthguards.
Strapped mouthguards are often preferred because they are not easy to misplace, and a coach can readily tell whether a player is wearing one.
However, some players find the strap to be a nuisance, and so they’d instead rather go for a strapless one.
If you are conflicted about whether to go for a strapped or a strapless style, then a convertible mouthguard would be your best option.
How Much Does A Football Mouth Guard Cost?
On average, expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $50 for a good quality boil-and-bite mouthguard.
Of course, the cost could go higher or lower depending on the brand, the style, and the protection offered.
A custom-fit mouthguard can easily cost over $200.
After all, how much is too much money when it comes to such a vital piece of protective equipment?
Floyd Mayweather spends a whopping $25,000 on a single mouthguard, so I guess it all depends on how much you are willing to pay.
Can I Use A Mouthguard Even I Have Braces?
Yes, you can.
Players who wear braces would need to look for a braces-compatible mouthguard.
These are designed to conform to the upper and lower brace brackets, so the mouthguard protects not just your teeth but the braces as well.
Brace-compatible mouthguards can be very comfortable if fitted correctly, and they also prevent lip laceration in case of a collision.
In addition to that, the mouthguard adapts to the wearer’s changing mouth structure. Meaning you wouldn’t have to get a new mouthguard as your teeth adjust over time.
For this, you will find that the guard is made from a soft and flexible silicone material that flexes with your changing mouth structure.
How Do I Clean the Mouthguard?
A football mouthguard should be cleaned well after every use to prevent the growth of bacteria and plaque.
Start off with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste. Thoroughly brush the mouthguard and rinse.
Alternatively, you may wash the mouthguard using antibacterial soap then rinse thoroughly after that.
Every once in a week or so, you would need to deep clean and disinfect the mouthguard.
Do this by soaking it in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution for 10 minutes, at most, or soaking it in a bowl of mouthwash.
Don’t forget to clean the mouthguard case too, as there may be some bacteria built up in there as well.
This video could provide further clarification on how to clean an athletic mouthguard.