How to Customize a Mouth Guard: 5 Steps

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How to Customize a Mouth Guard: 5 Steps
How to Customize a Mouth Guard: 5 Steps

Mouth guards are an important piece of equipment in rugby, football, basketball, and other sports that often involve physical contact. Self-adjusting the mouth guard for your teeth will make wearing it safer and more comfortable. The process doesn't take long. See Step 1 for more information.


Fit a Mouth Guard Step 1
Fit a Mouth Guard Step 1

Step 1. Gather the necessary materials

To properly fit your mouthguard, you will need:

  • your mouth guard
  • scissors
  • enough boiling water to cover the mouthguard
  • a bowl of iced water
  • a towel

Step 2. Adjust the length of the mouth guard

You may need to trim the ends to make sure your mouthguard is comfortable to wear and doesn't irritate the back of your mouth. Put it on first before adjusting it and trim the ends a bit if necessary. If the mouthguard seems to pierce the back of your jaw, or makes you want to throw up, cut it off a little with scissors.

A mouthguard is generally used to protect your fragile front teeth, not your molars, so there will be some gaps as far as the back of your guard. Some athletes prefer a comfortable, short guard that covers up to the first molars. Choose what is comfortable for you


Step 3. Soak your mouthguard in boiling water

You'll need enough boiling water to soak your mouthguard for 30 and 60 seconds. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove, or you can use the microwave.

  • Hold your mouth guard carefully with the straps, soak it in water and let it soften. If your mouthguard doesn't have a drawstring, or you've already cut it, you can soak your mouthguard and scoop it out using a spoon with long holes.
  • If you have braces or something like that, then boil the water for about 30 seconds. You want your mouthguard to fit snugly against your mouth, but not to fit between your braces, and damage them.

Step 4. Take your dental guard carefully

Quickly dry with a towel and put in your mouth, adjusting to your upper teeth. It will be convenient.

  • With your thumbs, push your braces up and back against your molars. Bite firmly until you feel your teeth touch the bottom of your mouthguard and suck the guard against your top teeth.
  • Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth to create pressure and your guard can fit snugly against your teeth. This will take no more than 15 or 20 seconds.
  • Don't chew on your braces or move them around your teeth while you're adjusting them.

Step 5. Place your visor in ice water

Remove your visor and dip it in ice water. Let it cool for a minute or two and try plugging in again. It should feel snug against your upper teeth without having to hold it against your tongue, and will adjust naturally to your lower teeth.

  • If you want to cut the straps, you can either cut them now, or remove the straps if they can be removed.
  • If it still doesn't feel comfortable, try again until you feel it fits perfectly.


  • If it fails the first time, try again.
  • It doesn't matter what type of mouthguard you use, these steps will work for most brands.
  • Try talking to your dentist for guidelines if you are concerned about your braces.

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