Why do hockey players lose teeth? A question that might be very easy to answer. Our reply would be ‘’because they don’t use mouthguards’’. It’s also possible that they use this essential tool incorrectly.
In a sport like ice hockey, physical contact is more the rule than the exception. Because of this, a mouthguard should be a necessity. A hockey player already gets a lot of negative press regarding damaging their teeth.
Yet, it seems that a lot of players still suffer from tooth loss (even when they use a mouthguard). Why do hockey players lose teeth? Let’s find out together.
Wearing a Mouthguard might be a discomfort
If you’re a pro hockey player playing in the NHL, chances are that you don’t wear a mouthguard. The NHL players’ association has negotiated a contract which allows players to decide for themselves if they want this protective gear. Mouthguards are not required.
But why would you want to play without it? Mouthguards can make it very uncomfortable to breathe. This is especially the case if the guard is attached to a face mask. Because of this discomfort, some players decided not to use guards.
Of course, when you are in a fight or a collusion, you can suffer from tooth loss. As long as you win the game, you might still be happy, right?!
Not Wearing the Guard Correctly
Even when you use protective gear, you’d still want to use it correctly. If the mouthguard is not fully on or put on straight, it won’t be of much help.
There are even mouthguards you can wear with braces (like the Shock Doctor Double Braces Mouthguard), so there isn’t any excuse not to use it.
Here’s some information to use a mouthguard correctly:
- Mouthguard should end somewhere between your first and second molar.
- It should cover all of your teeth (excluding back molars) and some of your gum.
- Make sure it doesn’t extend to far back or that it overwhelms your upper jaw. It can be uncomfortable and can cause you to gag.
Big Impacts can have consequences
Ice hockey is a very physical sport. Big hits can happen. Even when the mouthguard is used correctly, there’s still a chance of teeth damage in ice hockey. A heavy hit with a lot of force behind it can still be bad for your teeth sadly.
A mouthguard won’t be able to protect your teeth if the hit is big and strong enough. Also, you should realize that mouthguards are used for more than just protecting your teeth. They also help keep your jaw in place. This can prevent concussions and should be reason enough to use it.
It can happen out of nowhere
Luckily, pro hockey players now to move and fall so physical injuries are minimal. Even for those players, accidents still happen. Hockey is a sport that moves quickly. Sometimes you are too late to move out of the way in time. If you get an elbow (or a puck) to the mouth, chances of dental injury are a real possibility. Even if you always play with a mouthguard.
It’s hard to be protected all the time. Especially when you realize that a puck can easily reach a speed of 100 miles per hour. Not even the best mouthguard in the world will protect you against that level of speed.
Conclusion: Why are mouthguards still important?
We can conclude that mouthguards aren’t 100% effective, but it is still recommended to use one. It will still protect you from the majority of the hits that you will sustain.
Without wearing a mouthguard, you are almost certain to lose teeth if you get a stick to the mouth. With a mouthguard, high sticking injuries are unlikely to happen. At least not if everyone plays nice and clean.
That said, when you get hit in the mouth in hockey, usually it’s not an intentional hit. If that’s the case, mouthguards will definitely serve their purpose.
Ultimately, there really aren’t any good reasons not to wear your mouthguard. Teeth are very important and they don’t grow back for adults. Click the following link, if you wondering where to buy the best hockey mouthguards. And remember, always wear all of your protective gear and keep yourself safe before playing the amazing game that is ice hockey.