Why Mouthguards Matter in Football

With more than four billion fans and 260 million players globally, football is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world. With knees and elbows always on the move and balls that can fly in excess of 60km/h, it can also be an incredibly physical one.

Though only half said they should be mandatory, 

%

of parents agreed that wearing a mouthguard is an effective way to reduce injuries to the mouth, teeth, and gums

In a study focusing on youth football players,

%

of all injuries sustained were dental.

Using a mouthguard can reduce the risk by up to

%

that a player will damage their front teeth.

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A Brief History of Mouthguards in Football

Mouthguards have been used throughout the twentieth century, first by boxers from the 1920s onwards and then American football players starting in the 1950s. In American football in particular the effect mouthguards had on player safety was dramatic. Before mouthguards were commonplace, 50% of the injuries football players suffered were dental in nature. Today, dental injuries account for only 3% of all injuries in American football.

Mouthguard acceptance and usage rates among athletes in non-contact sports—football included—has lagged behind. As usage rates rise in other sports and awareness about the importance of mouthguards grows, however, the tide may change.

In 2012, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) mandated the use of mouthguards in Gaelic football following mounting evidence of the prevalence of dental injuries in the sport. Over the next four years the use of mouthguards among Gaelic football players ballooned by 71% (16% in 2011 to 87% in 2016), but interestingly that wasn’t the only sport to see a positive change. The shift appeared to have a domino effect on other sports, including football which saw mouthguard usage rates go from 7% in 2011 to 23% in 2016.

Despite momentum like that, football players still hesitate to wear mouthguards for one of two reasons: they assume that dental injuries are rare or not serious, and communicating with teammates while wearing a mouthguard can be a challenge.

1)     A Problem of Perception

One persistent issue is the assumption that because football is technically a non-contact sport, players aren’t likely to get hit in the mouth. In reality, injuries of the head—whether caused by an impact with a fast-moving ball or collision with another player or static object—are becoming some of the most common.

Even if a player does get hit in the mouth, it’s just a broken tooth, right? Not quite. Chipped or cracked teeth can be themselves expensive, uncomfortable, and inconvenient to fix and the damage may extend well beyond a simple fracture, affecting the jaw bone and the gums.

Using a mouthguard now is the best way to protect your teeth from any future damage.

2)     Communication Challenges

As with basketball, another impediment football players face is being able to communicate effectively with each other on the field. This is one reason why the fit of your mouthguard is so important.

The Difference a Properly Fitted Mouthguard Makes

Mouthguards play an important role in keeping players of all ages safe and comfortable. Keep in mind that if your mouthguard fits well, it shouldn’t prevent you from speaking, inhibit breathing, make you gag, or come loose easily (even if you jostle it with your tongue). If it does, it’s not the right fit for you.

Remember: whatever your sport—no matter your level or how often you play—a mouthguard is always the right move when it comes to protecting your mouth and teeth from contact-related injuries.

Which Makura Mouthguard Is Best for Football Players?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t always straightforward because, at the end of the day, the right mouthguard is the one that fits you the best.

That being said, there are certain characteristics you can keep an eye out for when choosing a football mouthguard:

Fit

A properly fitted mouthguard keeps wearers comfortable and safe.

 It shouldn’t inhibit your breathing or speech in any way, nor should it make you gag. It should remain securely in place (no clenching required to hold it) even if you jostle it a bit with your tongue.

Certification

All Makura mouthguards are fully CE certified and have achieved Level 2 and Level 3 Impact Resistance. Our BOIL & BITE™ TEPHRA MAX™ is Level 3 Impact Resistant, the highest level achievable for mouth-adapted mouthguards, and our braces-compatible LITHOS™ is Level 2 Impact Resistant, the highest attainable for ready-made mouthguards.

Features

Look for things like gel-based and flexible liners, shock-absorbing outers, and more that are suited to the game you play and how you play it. If you have braces, make sure you choose a braces-compatible mouthguard to keep both you and your braces safe from harm.

Compare Makura Mouthguards

TEPHRA MAX™

  • Boasts the highest level of impact resistance (Level 3) attainable for mouth-adapted mouthguards.
  • Features a SHOKBLOKER™ outer, FLEXICORE™ inner, and GELFORM™ liner for unparalleled shock absorption and comfort.
  • CE approved and certified.
  • Available in one size (senior for ages 11 and over) and three colour combinations.
IGNIS™

  • Is Level 2 impact resistant.
  • Features a SHOKBLOKER™ outer and GELFORM™ liner for maximum protection.
  • Comes with a strap you can use to attach your mouthguard to your helmet.
  • CE approved and certified.
  • Available in two sizes—senior (ages 11 and over) and junior (ages 10 and under)—and three colour combinations.
LITHOS™

  • Is Level 2 impact resistant, the highest achievable for ready-made mouthguards.
  • The ORTHO Channel fits over fixed braces for a secure fit.
  • Features a SHOKBLOKER™ body for maximum shock absorption and SLIPSAFE pads that prevent it from slipping while the jaw is closed.
  • CE approved and certified.
  • Available in one size (senior for ages 11 and over) and two colour combinations.
TOKA™

  • The TOKA PRO™ is Level 2 Impact Resistant.
  • The SHOKBLOKER™ outer keeps players safe, while the BOIL & BITE™ fit ensures uncompromised comfort.
  • CE approved and certified.
  • Available in two sizes—senior (ages 11 and over) and junior (ages 10 and under)—and six colour combinations.
KYRO PRO™ 

  • Available in strapped and strapless versions.
  • Made with a tough SHOKBLOKER™ outer, AIRTHRU channel, and SLIPSAFE pads.
  • Available in two sizes—junior (ages 10 and under) and senior (ages 11 and over)—and two colours, clear and black.