When it comes to the use of mouthguards, basketball is a sport that has flown under the radar for quite some time. Unfortunately, since it’s not a contact sport, players often assume that they don’t need to wear mouthguards.
We wanted to take some time to put a spotlight on mouthguards in basketball and explore what you can do to keep your mouth protected at all times:
Why Should Basketball Players Wear Mouthguards?
Although they’ve been worn by boxers since the early twentieth century, in basketball they’re still a relatively new and emerging trend. Neither the National Basketball Association (NBA) nor the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has mandated them, both leaving it to the discretion of individual players and teams.
Research in recent years has revealed that basketball players are at a remarkably high rate for dental injuries. In one study of college athletes in the US, basketball players were five times more likely than football players to suffer a dental injury during a practice or game. If that’s the case, why do basketball players choose to leave a mouthguard off the court? Visit our page to find out!
How Do Mouthguards Keep Players Safe?
Think of a mouthguard as a shock absorber for your mouth and teeth.
When you get hit in the face during a game, that blow sends shockwaves rippling through your teeth, jaw, and skull. Without a mouthguard, there’s nothing in place to block or minimize the intensity of the blow. Mouthguards are engineered to capture that energy, diffuse it as they contract, and disperse it as they expand again.
How Do I Find the Right Mouthguard?
- A properly fitted mouthguard won’t make it difficult for you to breathe or speak.
- If you can easily loosen your mouthguard with your tongue or need to clench your teeth to make sure your mouthguard stays in place, it’s not the right fit for you. You’ll find yourself adjusting it constantly unless it sits tightly against the upper teeth.
- Your mouthguard shouldn’t make you gag. If it does, it’s probably sitting too much on your soft palate (the back of the roof of your mouth). Ideally your mouthguard should end somewhere between your first and second molars.
- If you have braces, don’t forget that you still need to wear a braces-compatible mouthguard in order to protect both your mouth and the braces themselves.
If you’re using a mouth-adapted mouthguard, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to achieve a proper fit. Always follow the rules for your specific product. The general principles are the same for BOIL & BITE® styles (they need to be boiled, shaped, and cooled), but the details like how long you need to immerse them in boiling water vary.
Downloadable fitting instructions (PDFs) for all Makura mouthguards are available on our website in five languages: English, Español, Français, Deutsch, and Italiano. Click here to access them.
Ultimately the key to keeping your mouth protected while playing sports is to ensure you’re wearing a high-quality, properly fitted mouthguard.
At Makura Sport, our mission is simple: to provide you with mouthguards that exceed expectations and make us the protection of choice for athletes around the world. Contact us today to learn more!
Read more about safety in sport from Makura:
- Why Mouthguards Matter in American Football
- Why Mouthguards Matter in Field Hockey
- Why Mouthguards Matter in Boxing
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