Soccer is a technical sports that involves lot of contact and you need to be prepared, so you can protect yourself from any potential injuries …
… In addition to the shinguard that most soccer players wear, mouthguards are also as important!
In this post, I breakdown all the details you need to know.
Do Soccer Players Wear Mouthguards?
Mouthguards are not PPE in soccer, but that doesn’t mean soccer players cannot reap the benefits of wearing one.
Most players don’t bother to wear them from what I’ve seen so far!
Yet, there are several players even in the amateur level who have chosen to protect themselves from any dental damage, or worse a concussion by grabbing the best mouthguard they can that fits properly …
… Even the American Dental Association recommends soccer players wear a mouthguard.
The UK is pushing for an interesting policy called “No Wear, No Play” to encourage more student athletes to wear a mouthguard.
Professional soccer players are also experimenting with new mouthguard technology to improve performance.
Bottom line, it’s up to you whether you feel the need to use them or not! But as far as I am concerned, I highly recommend them.
A good Mouthguard recommendation …
Shock Doctor is a well-known name brand for mouthguards and other sports PPE. Since 1993, when Shock Doctor’s first sold their fully engineered mouthguard, the company has continued to develop new technology for keeping athletes safe.
One of the highly recommended mouthguards you should consider buying is the Shock Doctor Gel Max Mouth Guard. It’s a multi-sport mouthguard that is ideal for Soccer as well …
… Obviously, getting the right fit is very important. Indeed, all mouthguards offer some type of protection, but it won’t matter if it does not fit properly!
The Gel Max offers Gel-fit technology, which improves molding to teeth and gums for a longer lasting comfort fit.
A great feature that you find only on higher quality mouthguards are breathable channels!
In fact, Traditional mouthguards are sometimes restrictive since they cover teeth and gums and require players to clench down to hold the guard in place. Breathable channels allow more airflow into the mouth.
More oxygen means better performance on the field!
The heavy duty Exoskeletal Shock Frame of the Gel Max provides full mouth protection during the hardest impacts, protects cheek and tongue, and secures teeth in place.
Best of all, it is easy to mold to your teeth and gums. Boil the mouthguard for one and a half minutes, then run under cold water for two seconds, then bite down on it to form it around your teeth. The mouthguard will mold to your teeth after a few seconds.
How do Mouthguards Protect the players?
Mouthguards protect your mouth overall, not just your teeth …
… When wearing it you are protecting your lips, teeth, gums from any major damage. It is worth noting that not all of them protect lips the same.
Think of a mouthguard as a helmet for your mouth. It provides protection from impact.
Some specific mouthguards offer external lip protection, such as the Shock Doctor Max Airflow Lip Guard, and are ideal for football players. However, they are not as comfortable as other mouthguards because of their bulkier size.
What type of injuries could you possibly be protected from by wearing a mouthguard while playing soccer?
For one, you would be preventing teeth loss (surprise surprise!). A soccer ball flying towards your face could cause serious damage, or an accidental elbow to the face would be as devastating.
A busted lip is the least of your worries if one of your teeth gets knocked out.
Other injuries could be more severe such as gum or jaw damage. Biting down on a mouthguard will protect both of these parts of your mouth from impact.
The Gel Max provides full mouth protection, unlike other models which only protect the top part of your mouth.
Although the science is still up in the air, for now it is believed that this accessory can protect players from a concussion. It is a risk not worth taking and it is best to stay on the safe side and use a mouthguard.
Playing positions that require Mouthguard usage the most?
Any player on the field can benefit from it!
However, defenders and goalies may want to invest the most in a high quality mouthguard.
Considering they are more likely to be hit by a ball than any other position.
Strikers could take an elbow from an aggressive defender trying to steal the ball away.
All players on the field are at risk from getting hit. Those most likely to come in contact with another player or the ball directly may want to buy the highest quality mouthguard they can afford.
Famous Soccer Players who wear it
Cristiano Ronaldo has made waves recently by being open about wearing a mouthguard. In fact, a special mouthguard that he has been partnered with for developing.
The goal of the partnership is to help develop a mouthguard for performance. New technology is being created to help players breath more efficiently while wearing it.
Overall I think that’s a good idea!
Also, I won’t be surprise to see Lionel Messi to be wearing one, especially that most defenders tend to be really very aggressive towards him due to his unmatched skills!
Is Mouthguard Crucial if you wear Braces?
Braces are expensive and are never a pleasant experience for anyone that has them. Which is why it is important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth if you have braces during soccer games.
You wouldn’t want to eliminate any progress you made while wearing braces! Or worse, prolong the time you need to wear braces because of an injury.
The Gel Max is one of the types of mouthguards designed to be worn with braces. As a matter of fact, if you have braces you must find a mouthguard designed to be worn with them. If not, you will not get a good fit or protection at all. Making the guard useless.
These specific mouthguards are designed to mold around your braces and thereby protect your teeth and to prevent them from moving out of place.
You will be avoiding costly repairs to your teeth and braces by wearing the appropriate guard.
Bottom line, it is equally important, if not more, for those with braces to wear a mouthguard.
Is it compulsory for kids?
Children’s teeth are developing as the child grows. It is ideal their teeth are protected to prevent any damage to the gum line. Which down the road will require surgery to correct.
Additionally, children who have their second set of teeth growing in run the risk of losing these teeth from an accident.
The child will have to grow up with either a missing tooth, or continue to get a new fake tooth as they mature.
It is important to remember that kids do not have the same motor skills as adults. They are more prone to accidents and injuries which is why they should have all the safety gear as possible.
How should you maintain your Mouthguard?
Bacteria, mold, and fungi grow on improperly cleaned mouthguards at a rapid pace. You have to periodically clean and properly store your accessory to prevent that.
The best way to clean your mouthguard is the same way you would with your teeth. Get a toothbrush, toothpaste, and get to scrubbing.
After scrubbing off any debris, dip the piece in soapy water then rinse off with clean water.
Next, you’ll want to store your mouthguard in a clean case with holes for ventilation.
Both your mouthguard and case should be cleaned regularly. Soaking both in antimicrobial solutions is ideal.
This accessory tends to wear down over time. When pits and cracks begin to develop in the guard, it is time to have it replaced. Typically, it should last at least for a full season, maybe even two for higher quality guards.
Regardless, once signs of wear appear it means you should replace them immediately.
After each use, wash your mouthguard and case. Stay on the safe side and wash it before use if it has been sitting for a while unused.
Other Sports where you should wear it …
Contact sports are the first to come to mind but did you know that bike riding is the number one non-contact sport for oral injuries?
Besides hockey and football, basketball has the highest amount of oral injuries. Baseball is another sport where injuries to the mouth occur frequently.
Tennis is another sport that people do not associate mouthguards with. But a ball to the face or a slip and fall could mean losing a tooth.
Just about any sport can cause injury. Which is why wearing a mouthguard is important.
Wearing mouthguards in a soccer game is not the trendiest thing these days, yet I won’t be surprised if more and more players (particularly the most famous ones) start wearing them consistently …
… Especially if the science manages to produce extremely qualified products to serve that purpose without impacting the breathing process, not even a bit!