Choosing a Regulator Mouthpiece
Breathing comfortably underwater is key to a safe, pleasant dive experience. And, not only does comfort make diving more enjoyable but it can also impact air consumption. A good regulator mouthpiece is essential when it comes to avoiding jaw fatigue and muscle soreness.
Here, we’ll share some tips when it comes to choosing the right regulator mouthpiece for you.
Standard regulator mouthpiece
The standard regulator mouthpiece typically comes with rental gear and new, budget regulators. You bite down on two plain, ordinary tabs, and may feel that you need to bite down relatively hard to keep the mouthpiece in place. This sometimes results in chewing through the tabs, and you may encounter partially detached tabs on a rental regulator’s mouthpiece (gross).
When it comes to your own regulator, these mouthpieces tend to be the most affordable, so replacing them is quite affordable. All in all, this is a very basic mouthpiece that will fit almost all divers, but not everyone will be a fan.
Long and somewhat textured tabs give you something a bit more substantial to bite down onto, though if you have a small mouth, they can be a bit uncomfortable. These longer mouthpieces are typically quite affordable as well, so they’re a good choice for someone who wants to upgrade or swap out from the basic mouthpiece.
Cushioned regulator mouthpiece
Now we’re talking when it comes to comfort when diving — cushioned regulator mouthpieces feature soft grips on the bite tabs that prevent bite-through and provide a solid degree of comfort. Swapping out your basic mouthpiece for one of these will offer real comfort and, at $10 to $15, they won’t break the bank, either.
Bridged, winged and tooth-covering
These designs help lock the mouthpiece into place, which is especially helpful if you tend to twist around a lot or catch your hoses on your other gear. The bridged model connects the tabs together and can cause discomfort if it rubs inside your mouth.
Likewise, winged and tooth-covering designs grip your gums on the inside of your mouth and may rub there. If they fit you properly, however, these types of regulator mouthpieces can be quite comfortable.
Custom-fit regulator mouthpiece
A custom-fit regulator mouthpiece is the ultimate when it comes to comfort since it adheres to your unique mouth shape. You trim the mouthpiece to the desired length and then immerse it in boiling water before biting down to mold around your teeth. It takes little to no effort to retain this mouthpiece in your mouth, and most are quite sturdy.
It may take a few tries to get the fit right, since if you heat it too long or bite too hard it might not shape properly.
And note that while a custom-fit mouthpiece may be ideal for your primary regulator, you should stick to a more universal fit for your alternate as it would not provide the same level of comfort or fit properly for your buddy, which may increase their risk in an emergency situation.
Look for a regulator mouthpiece made from quality materials. This might mean not always buying the cheapest thing, but remember — we often get what we pay for. Not every mouthpiece fits every regulator second stage, and it is a good idea to check the fit before purchase. Once you find one you like, grab a spare to keep in your dive toolkit. There are lots of choices here to get you started on your search for the perfect regulator mouthpiece.
Frequently asked questions
Not every mouthpiece fits every regulator second stage, so it’s wise to check the fit before purchase. Just make sure the one you’ve got your eye on is compatible with your regulator. Once you find one you like, pick up a spare to keep in your dive toolkit.