Gaelic football has set itself apart as the most popular sport throughout Ireland. It’s fast, physical, and intense—all
reasons why players need to keep themselves protected with the right mouthguard.
We wanted to take some time to put a spotlight on mouthguards in Gaelic football and explore what you can do to keep your mouth protected at all times:
Why Should Gaelic Football Players Wear Mouthguards?
The turning point for Gaelic football was 2012 when, during the Annual Conference of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), a new rule was passed making it mandatory for all Gaelic football players to wear mouthguards during matches and training sessions.
What prompted the GAA to come to this decision was, put simply, dental injuries were becoming too commonplace, too expensive, and too detrimental to the health and wellbeing of athletes. Among Gaelic football players, more than half of all injuries affected players’ teeth.
The impact of the new regulations has been significant:
- Rates of dental injuries decreased by 37% between 2011 and 2016.
- Mouthguard use increased by 71% over the same timespan.
- In 2016, 84% of parents agreed that wearing a mouthguard would reduce the risk of dental injury.
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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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