How To Fit A Mouthguard

Contact sports enthusiasts deal with the constant risk of injury to the face, which is why any serious athlete will want to know how to fit a mouthguard and protect their teeth from an unfortunate blow to the jaw. Otherwise known as gumshields, they are also useful for sleep disorders such as unusual grinding of the teeth (bruxism) or to assist with the bleaching of your teeth. When compared to an injury to the teeth or gums, fitting a mouthguard is not as difficult as one might fear.

You will need the following tools in order to fit a mouthguard properly:

  • Two sauce pans

  • Tongs

  • Fresh mouthguard–Get a cheap mouthguard the first time around. If you make an error then it won't be an expensive mistake.


  • Stopwatch

  1. Heat up your mouthguard. Fill up the first sauce pan with water and then heat it until it's boiling hot. At the same time, fill the second sauce pan with cold water. Lower your mouthguard into the boiling water and let it boil for no more or less than half a minute. You want your mouthguard to be pliable but you don't want to melt it. Use a stopwatch if necessary. Remove the mouthguard with your tongs.

  2. Cool the mouthguard. Use your tongs to immediately place your mouthguard into the sauce pan with the cold water for just a second. This will make it tolerable to put in your mouth. Use caution that the mouthguard has cooled enough as to not burn your mouth prior to inserting.

  3. Shape the mouthguard for your teeth. Put the mouthguard in your mouth over your upper teeth and make sure it fits. Gently bite down on it for thirty seconds, and use your fingers or tongue to keep the rear part of your mouthguard molded against your teeth. After that, take it out and put it back in the sauce pan with the cold water for a few minutes. Then try it on to see if it fits. If not, repeat steps one through three again.


University of Minnesota Orthopaedics

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