Gum Shields are an essential piece of equipment for sports or activities that involve high contact. In sports such as Rugby, Hockey and Boxing gum shields are compulsory.
Gum Shields protect the mouth, teeth and jaw from high impact. They protect against lost or broken teeth which could cause further secondary damage to the mouth or throat. Some higher level gum shields also effectively absorbs shocks to the jaw which can help prevent damage to the face and help to prevent concussion.
Types of gum shields include Ready Made, "Boil and Bite", or Custom. Ready Made gum shields may have a number of sizes available but they are not adjusted to fit the user's mouth therefore they offer very little protection. They are cheap to buy but they would not offer adequate protection for contact sport which is why you will not find ready made gum shields on this website.
Boil and Bite gum shields can come in different sizes (normally adult or youth) but their interior is made from a special material which softens when heated. This allows you to fit the gum shield and bite down on the softened inner allowing it to form around the shape of your teeth. The material will then set and will fit comfortably to your bite offering much better protection. Custom gum shields are the most expensive option but they offer the best level of protection, particularly if your teeth or jawline do not fit well in the boil and bite types. This method often requires a trip to the dentist where they will take a mould of your teeth and send it to a manufacturer to build the brace for you. However, some manufacturers such as Opro offer a relatively inexpensive custom fitting kit where the mould can be done at home and sent off by post to Opro where they will manufacture the brace for you. Click to see the Opro Custom Mouth Guard kit online.
If you wear braces it is important that you choose a gum shield which is suitable for braces as many are not by default. Gum sheilds such as the Opro Ortho range are specifically made for use with braces.
Safety Note: If you gum shield gets damaged it should be replaced immediately.