Mouth guards

About mouth guards

Mouth guards are devices worn over your teeth to protect them from injury. Bupa Dental Care provides custom-made mouth guards for sports and conditions such as sleep apnoea, snoring and teeth grinding.

There are many different types of mouth guards; you can buy some in sports shops or chemists, or you can purchase a bespoke mouth guard from your dentist. Bespoke mouth guards are custom-made to fit your mouth and teeth perfectly, so they offer the best possible comfort and protection. They’re made of stronger materials and usually last longer than over-the-counter varieties.

Contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice to find out more about mouth guards and book an appointment.

Mouth guards for sleep apnoea and snoring

Custom mouth guards for snoring and sleep apnoea (when your breathing starts and stops during sleep) are designed to keep your airways open while you sleep. They have hinges that move the lower jaw forward, preventing it from dropping back and closing your airways. They look similar to sports guards and fit snugly over the upper and lower teeth.

To find out more, contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice.

Sports mouth guards

In many contact sports such as football, boxing, rugby and hockey, injury can be prevented through the use of fitted mouth guards.

Custom-made mouth guards provided by dentists are made of stronger plastics than over-the-counter varieties and are ideal for contact sports. They provide better protection and last much longer.

Bespoke mouth guards are designed just for you, to fit your mouth and teeth exactly, and so also offer a more secure and comfortable fit. If you’re looking for protection for your teeth or braces, our dentists will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Find a Bupa Dental Care practice near you.

Mouth guards for teeth grinding

Excessive teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) can cause teeth to become worn and chipped. It may also cause you to wake up with a sore jaw, earache or neck pain, and can result in headaches. If this is something you’re experiencing, speak to your dentist. They can check your bite to see if you’re grinding your teeth and may recommend wearing a mouth guard at night, also known as a night guard.

Made to fit your individual mouth, custom mouth guards for teeth grinding offer maximum comfort while you sleep. They’re designed to keep your upper and lower teeth apart, to prevent tooth wear and reduce the tension in your jaw muscles.

If you think you may suffer from teeth grinding, contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice for advice.

How is a custom mouth guard made?

Here’s what’s involved in producing a custom-made mouth guard:

Step 1

You’ll need an appointment for your dentist to check your teeth and gums are healthy and if suitable, they’ll take an impression of your teeth.

Step 2

Your dentist will use the impression to create a detailed mould of your mouth. This will map even the smallest gaps and irregularities in your teeth, unlike over-the-counter mouth guards that can only mirror the general outline of your smile.

Step 3

The mould and exact measurements of your mouth will be used to create a mouth guard from strong, durable plastic.

How long does a custom mouth guard last?

Unlike shop-bought mouth guards that can change shape and degrade within a few months, a custom mouth guard can last for several years, depending on wear and tear. Mouth guards worn by children whose mouths are growing may need replacing more regularly.

It’s important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups to ensure your mouth guard still fits correctly.

What type of mouth guard is best for children?

Children with baby teeth can use a mouldable, over-the-counter mouth guard. For children with adult teeth, a custom-made mouth guard will offer the best protection for their teeth and jaws. If you think your child may need a mouthguard, visit your dentist for further advice.

How do I care for my mouth guard?

It’s important to take good care of your mouth guard to ensure it lasts as long as possible and keep your mouth healthy. Follow these tips to help keep your mouth guard clean:

  • Clean your mouth guard after every use to remove any bacteria. You can use toothpaste and a toothbrush or wash your mouth guard in cool, soapy water
  • Store your mouth guard in a protective case that allows for ventilation, so it can dry out completely. This will keep your mouth guard clean and help prevent bacteria from growing on the surface
  • Soak your mouth guard in antimicrobial solutions between uses, which can be found at most pharmacies. Your dentist may recommend a particular solution depending on the mouthguard you have


For further guidance on caring for your mouth guard, speak to your dentist. They’ll advise you on how to look after it when you have it fitted.

Can I wear a mouth guard if I wear braces?

If you have a removable brace, you can take it out to pop in your mouth guard. If you wear a fixed brace, you can have a custom-made mouth guard that’s designed to fit over the top of the brace. Speak to your dentist to find out more.

Find your local dentist

If you’re interested in a mouth guard and would like to find out more, contact your nearest Bupa Dental Care practice to book an appointment.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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