Do soccer players wear mouthguards? This is a million questions asked by a curious fan. Yes, soccer is a fun game, but It’s also a tough sport on the body, with players often risking bumps, bruises, and broken bones for the same goal.
While mouthguards are a common piece of equipment in contact sports like football and hockey, its use in soccer is hmm. However, In this post, I will analyze soccer and mouthguards, and you will learn:
- Whether soccer players wear mouthguards or not
- Whether youth soccer players are required to wear mouthguards
- Why mouth guard is important in soccer
- How to select the best mouthguard for soccer players
Let’s dive in.
Do Soccer Players Wear Mouth Guards?
I would say it depends. When it comes to professional soccer, the rules around mouthguards are not clear. Unlike sports like hockey, where mouthguards are mandatory, soccer players are not required to wear them, but still, I have seen a couple of players use them.
But are you wondering why some players wear and why some do not wear them? Firstly, let’s consider the benefits of wearing a mouthguard.
Soccer may not be a contact sport in the same way as football or hockey, collisions and falls are still common occurrences on the field.
A mouth guard can help protect against dental injuries, such as broken teeth, by providing a cushioning effect during impact.
Additionally, some players find that wearing a mouth guard helps them to breathe more easily during strenuous activity, which can improve their overall performance. Although, there are some bad about wearing a mouth guard.
They can be uncomfortable and can make it difficult to communicate with teammates. They can also restrict breathing in some cases, which can be a disadvantage during intense physical activity.
Furthermore, some players simply don’t like the way they feel or look while wearing a mouth guard, and choose to play without one. With all that said, what do professional soccer players think about mouthguards? Well, the opinions are varied.
I have seen players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi wear them. While players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic are known to play without them. So, it comes down to personal preference and the individual player’s risk tolerance.
However, while professional soccer players are not required to wear mouthguards, many youth leagues do mandate their use.
This is because younger players are often more susceptible to dental injuries and may not have fully developed their coordination and balance on the field.
Youth Soccer And Mouth Guards
In youth soccer, the rules around mouthguards are often more strict than in professional soccer. Many youth leagues require their players to wear a mouthguard during games and practices, and for good reason: young players are often more vulnerable to dental injuries than adults.
Children’s teeth and jaws are still developing, which makes them more susceptible to damage from impact.
Additionally, younger players may not have fully developed their coordination and balance on the field, making them more likely to suffer a fall or collision. Fortunately, many youth soccer leagues recognize the importance of mouthguards for their young players.
Some leagues mandate the use of mouthguards for all players, regardless of age or skill level. This is to ensure that all players are protected from dental injuries while on the field. Though, there are still some youth players who choose to play without a mouthguard.
This is due to some reasons, such as discomfort or a belief that they don’t need one. However, the risk of dental injury is still present, even if it may not seem like a contact sport at first glance.
However, to ensure young players’ protection, the first step is to check with your local youth soccer league to see if they require mouthguards for players.
If they do, make sure to choose a mouth guard that fits well and provides adequate protection for your child’s teeth and jaw. If your child’s league does not require mouthguards, it’s still a good idea to consider using one.
The Benefits of MouthGuards In Soccer
Wearing a mouth guard can provide a host of benefits for players of all levels.
Preventing Dental Injuries
One of the primary reasons soccer players wear mouthguards is to protect their teeth and gums from injury. Physical activity on the field can put players at risk of getting hit in the mouth with a ball or colliding with another player which can lead to broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth. A mouth guard acts as a cushion while reducing the risk of dental damage.
Reducing the Risk of Concussions
In addition to protecting the mouth, a mouth guard can also help prevent concussions. A blow on the head can lead to concussion, and research has shown that wearing a mouth guard can help reduce the risk of concussions.
Improving Breathing and Performance
Some soccer players may be hesitant to wear a mouthguard due to concerns about breathing or speech impairment.
However, a well-fitted mouthguard can improve breathing and performance on the field. If you keep the jaw in a slightly forward position, a mouth guard can help open up the airway and increase oxygen intake, which can improve endurance and stamina.
In a nutshell, wearing a mouth guard during soccer games is beneficial to players, including protecting the teeth and gums from injury, reducing the risk of concussions, and even improving breathing and performance on the field.
How To Choose The Right Mouth Guard
In this section, I will help you select the best mouthguard with you some factors to consider when choosing them:
- Fit: A good mouth guard should fit snugly and comfortably in the mouth, without feeling too tight or loose. A custom-fitted mouthguard may be the best option for optimal fit, but boil-and-bite options can also work well if they are molded correctly.
- Material: Mouthguards can be made from different materials, such as rubber, silicone, or thermoplastic. Each material has its benefits and flaws, so do your research and choose one that suits your needs.
- Style: Mouthguards come in different styles, such as over-the-counter (OTC) or mouthguards. OTC mouthguards are typically more affordable and readily available, while custom-fit options offer a more tailored fit and increased protection.
- Level of protection: The level of protection needed may depend on the player’s age, experience level, and the intensity of the sport. Some mouthguards are designed specifically for contact sports like soccer and offer additional padding and shock absorption.
- Durability: A mouthguard that can withstand regular use and the occasional impact is crucial. Look for mouthguards made from sturdy materials and those that are easy to clean and maintain.
So, choosing the right mouthguard for soccer players can be a tough task, but it’s an important one for protecting teeth and jaws from potential injury.
While there is no official requirement for soccer players to wear mouthguards, the benefits of doing so are clear. Mouth guards can protect the teeth and gums from injury, reduce the risk of concussions, and even improve breathing and performance on the field.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.