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Even though there are much more aggressive sports out there, soccer is far from being a contactless sport. For this reason, protective equipment is a must for both amateur and professional soccer players. While some protective items are required by FIFA, mouthguards are not on the list of mandatory gear. Still, there are thousands of soccer players who wouldn’t dare to step on a field without one.
While this might be the part of the kit that saves you from serious injury and keeps your smile looking nice, the majority of soccer players don’t wear mouthguards. There are, however, those who find it to be an essential part of their gear: Approximately 7% of soccer players wear mouthguards on a regular basis.
Despite the fact that most professional players don’t wear them, mouthguards are commonly used among youth soccer players, as well as among adult players who want to lower their risk of injury. Mouthguards are a theme that is not commonly discussed, so we’ve decided to dedicate this article to them and answer some of the key questions related to mouthguard use in soccer. Enjoy the reading!
Do soccer players wear mouth guards?
Mouthguards are a mandatory protective item in the box, football, lacrosse, and hockey. Soccer, basketball, skiing, and similar sports that oral injuries are common in don’t mandate using a mouthguard. Some US states, as well as some leagues and competitions around the world, have made wearing a mouthguard mandatory. In most US school districts, a mouthguard is a must-have item for all sports played at a high school and youth level.
Whether it’s an elbow, a hand, or even the ball coming to their face, soccer players are constantly at risk of being injured in the mouth area. This is why buying a mouthguard is a really smart investment. Still, so many of them choose against investing a little sum of money in this piece of gear.
There’s such a high percentage of soccer players who don’t use mouthguards due to the discomfort they feel when wearing one. Some players find them to simply be uncomfortable, while others experience negative physical effects of wearing a mouthguard. These negative effects most commonly include issues with breathing and communication. However, studies have shown that wearing a proper mouthguard doesn’t have any effect on running, breathing, or communication. What constitutes a proper mouthguard shall be discussed further down in this text.
As mentioned previously, the majority of soccer players don’t wear mouthguards. However, there’s a relatively small percentage of those who do, and you can find the reasons why they chose to wear a mouthguard in the next section of this text:
Why You Should Wear a Soccer Mouthguard
Every year, between 13-39% of all dental injuries occur during sports activities. This amounts to anywhere between 550,000 and 2 million knocked out teeth. Male athletes are almost twice as likely to suffer from these injuries than their female peers. According to statistics, soccer and basketball players are more likely to suffer from dental injuries than football players.
Still, in soccer, a sport in which mouthguard use is not compulsory across all leagues and age groups, just 7% of participants use mouthguards. What are the reasons why you should wear soccer mouthguard?
The first and most obvious one is mouth injury prevention. Teeth, as well as the rest of the mouth, are one of the most vulnerable areas, as they are always at risk of being met by a flying elbow of an unaware opponent. Lacerated lips, knocked and loosened teeth, as well as other types of oral injuries, can be prevented, or at least softened, by wearing a proper mouthguard piece.
The second reason why soccer players wear mouthguards is to improve their performance. According to some news, Cristiano Ronaldo and some other star players wear mouthguards not only to keep their teeth in place, but also to boost their balance, strength, and general performance on the field. This aspect is highly debatable and some even consider mouthguards to have little to no effect on the physical performance of the players, finding this to be just another tactic to sell more gear to fans.
The third and final reason to wear a soccer mouthguard is the psychological effect that this piece of protective gear can have on you as a player. Knowing that you have an extra layer of protection against impact can make you a more confident player and allow you to reach your full potential. However, this can also be a double-edged sword; it can also make you overly confident, causing you to take unnecessary risks. As with everything in soccer and life, finding the right balance is the key to successfully utilizing the full potential of this aspect of wearing a mouthguard.
How to choose the best mouthguard for soccer
As you can see from the text, there are plenty of reasons why you should be wearing a mouthguard and not many that justify not wearing one on a regular basis. But there’s one question that most of the newbies should ask themselves or the Internet: How do you choose the best soccer mouthguard?
There are three kinds of mouthguards that you can get online: The first type is commonly referred to as instant fit mouthguards. These mouthguards are the simplest to use; you just take them out of the box and start wearing them. Their drawback is the bulkiness as well as the fact that they commonly don’t fit perfectly, which makes them less safe and secure.
The second type of mouthguard that you can buy for soccer is called boil-and-bite mouthguards. These offer an adaptable fit, as users can soften the material by boiling it and adapt it to their teeth and gums.
The third and final type of soccer mouthguards available online is the custom fit mouthguards. These are commonly molded by a dental professional to your mouth, which makes them fit perfectly. They are definitely the best option out of the three, but also the most expensive.
When choosing their new mouthguard, amateur and professional soccer players rarely go for the instant fit variety, as it can have the opposite effect of the intended and make it easier to get hurt. The custom fit option is also commonly avoided, due to the price. Going for the boil-and-bite version is the most popular option and the one we recommend unless you can afford a custom fit soccer mouthguard.
Best Mouthguard for Soccer
Now that we cleared out what soccer mouthguards are, should you wear them, and how to choose the right one, the time has come to share some of the best soccer mouthguards on the market:
1. OPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard: The Best Overall Soccer Mouthguard
OPRO Power-Fit Mouthguard, available through our Amazon link, is the mouthguard most professional athletes, as well as us, recommend. Designed for contact sports, this mouthguard comes in dozens of color patterns; from basic colors to national team designs. Here’s what sets this mouthguard apart in the sea of similar products:
OPRO Power-Fit is a mouthguard that molds itself around your teeth and gums during use, ensuring that it grips your teeth in the right places while allowing you to breathe, speak, and focus on the game without any obstructions. It belongs to the most popular mouthguard group, the boil-and-bite kind, and it takes less than three minutes to re-mold it.
As a guaranty of quality, this mouthguard comes with an extended 18-month guarantee, as well as a $20,000 dental warranty. Another confirmation of its quality is the fact that OPRO Power-Fit is the official mouthguard of the UFC, USA Wrestling, England Hockey, New Zealand Rugby, and many other competitions and teams.
Due to its quality, design, and warranty, OPRO Power-Fit is our primary recommendation for your next soccer mouthguard, whether you’re an adult or a youth player, amateurs, or a professional.
2. SISU Aero Mouth Guard – The Best Bang for Your Buck Soccer Mouthguard
SISU Aero Mouth Guard, available on Amazon, is our next recommendation. Available in three sizes and over a dozen color options, this is an excellent mouthguard for beginners and those who can’t afford the previously listed model. Here’s what makes sets this mouthguard apart:
SISU Aero Mouth Guard is only 1.6mm thick, which makes it 50% thinner than a regular mouthguard. This ensures that the mouthguard is light and barely noticeable while wearing. The slim, custom fit also ensures that it’s easy to talk, breathe, and even drink without removing the piece from your mouth, which is a great advantage to using the SISU Aero model. The thinness of the mouthguard doesn’t sacrifice protection; Diffusix technology takes care to impact distribution and injury prevention.
Same as the previous model on the list, the Aero can be re-molded using hot water in order to fit perfectly. This mouthguard is an excellent choice not only for soccer players, but also for those playing rugby, football, and other contact sports. The mixture of impressive technology, protection, and value is why we recommend SISU Aero Mouth Guard.