Choosing a Regulator mouthpiece
Being comfortable in the water is a big thing for me. I believe that not only does it make diving more enjoyable but can have an impact on my air consumption too. As someone who seems to destroy mouthpieces on a regular basis I have tried a lot of different types.
Yes, I am a ‘mad muncher’, a terrible mouthpiece chewer who has spit out more than my fair share of silicon.
I would like to share my experiences with you to help you make the best choice to suit your needs.
These are often supplied with rental gear and the cheaper new regulators. You bite down on two plain ordinary tabs. I have to bite down hard to keep them in place, which results in chewing through them really quickly.
They tend to be the cheapest ones so replacing them aren’t too bad, but I am not a fan.
Long, textured tabs give you something a bit bore substantial to bite. I have a short mouth and find they can be a little uncomfortable, but other people love them.
They are usually pretty cheap so would be a good choice to start with.
These have soft grips on the bite tabs which are supposed to prevent bite-through and provide a lot of comfort. I have always chewed through them in no time and am not sure about these claims.
I have, however, yet to try the more expensive versions.
I cannot deny that they were very comfortable before I ate them. I still have one on my alternate air source which is only a little ragged I swear.
Bridged, Winged and Tooth-Covering
These designs help to lock the mouthpiece into place. Especially good if you tend to twist around a lot or catch your hoses on stuff like some of my students. The Bridged model connects the tabs together and can cause discomfort if they rub 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 then definitely go for it.
I have not personally tried this model, but the idea is that it grips around your lip area. While this would eliminate the possibility of chewing through tabs I am not sure how well they would stay in my mouth under strain.
I have talked to one diver who has this model and says it is very comfortable for him. I’d be quite interested in more feedback on this one.
I am still using my custom fit mouthpiece on my primary regulator. You trim the mouthpiece to the desired length and then immerse it in boiling water before biting down to mould around your teeth. It takes no effort to retain this mouthpiece and I have yet to damage it despite using it for over a hundred dives.
I did have to do a couple of tries to get the fit right, as if you heat it too long or bite too hard they might not shape properly.
I did not install this on my alternate because it would not provide the same level of comfort or fit properly for my buddy which may increase their risk in an emergency situation.
Try to find a mouthpiece made from good quality materials. This might mean not always buying the cheapest thing. 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.
What mouthpiece do you use? Do you have any advices for the perfect mouthpiece? Leave a comment below!