Mouth guards are often used in sports to provide protection for lips, teeth and nerves around the mouth. They also are used by people who grind their teeth in their sleep. While you can buy a boil and bite mouth guard at a sporting goods store, the best mouth guards come from a dentist or orthodontist. If you wear braces, you should be professionally fitted for a mouth guard.
Prepare the Boil and Bite Mouth Guard
Immerse the mouth guard in a deep mug filled with boiling water. Leave it in until the material softens and is flexible.
Place the mouth guard in your mouth and bite down as hard as you can to mold it the shape of your mouth. Hold the bite for at least 20 seconds. Use your tongue and fingers to help mold the piece to fit as comfortably as possible.
Look for teeth marks and impressions in the mouth guard interior. Repeat the heating process if the impression is faint. You must have a proper impression for the mouth guard to be worn correctly.
Once it is shaped correctly, immerse the mouth guard in cold water to harden it.
Mouth Guard in Use
Place the boil and bite mouth guard in your mouth.
Set your top teeth into the top of the mouth guard.
Adjust the guard with your teeth, tongue and fingers.
- Clean your mouth guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Soak in mouthwash before and after use. Store and carry the mouth guard in a hard, protective case.
- During play, let the mouth guard drop from your mouth only if it is attached by a helmet strap. If you wear braces or any orthodontic work, do not buy a mouth guard from a store. Never wear another person's mouth guard. Avoid the inexpensive mouth guards that are sold "as is." They do not offer protection and make it hard to breathe.