Fitting a Mouthpiece
Whatever method a contact sports participant chooses to protect his/her mouth, jaw, and teeth, whether a custom mouthpiece or one purchased over the counter at a local sporting goods outlet, it is important that it fits properly so it can do it’s job. It may seem insignificant as compared to the remainder of the sporting equipment, but, the small mouthpiece can prevent thousands of dollars of potential dental damage. Generally speaking, here’s how to fit your mouthpiece so that it is comfortable and protects you during contact sports.
- Heat water; not to a full boil. This may be done in a pot of water or put water in a microwaveable bowl. The goal is simply to bring the water temperature warm enough to make the mouthpiec more pliable but not too hot to melt it.
- *Note that mouthpieces vary – I have ruined several mouthpieces during this phase – by either exposing them to water that was too hot, or, placing them in warm water for too long.
- Place the mouthpiece in the water for about 15 seconds, depending on the water temperature.
- Remove mouthpiece from the water. Evaluate if the mouthpiece is at a temperature where you can put it in your mouth without burning. If it is too hot, don’t be afraid to let it cool down just enough to allow you to insert it in your mouth without burning your moth.
- Place the mouthpiece snugly to your teeth and chew up and down several times quickly while the mouthpiece is still warm. Use fingers on outside of face to fit the mouthpiece to the outside of teeth while fitting.
- As necessary, repeat the above steps until the mouthpiece comfortably and fits your dental structures.
- In some cases, the mouthpiece may need trimming on the rear wings to elleviate the gag reflex in the wearer.