Football is a high-impact sport that requires players to wear protective gear to prevent injuries. One of the essential pieces of equipment is the mouthguard. However, college football mouthguards differ from pro football mouthguards. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this difference and how it affects players’ safety and performance.
The first difference between college and pro football mouthguards is the material used. College football mouthguards are usually made of thermoplastic material, which is cheaper and less durable than the materials used in pro football mouthguards. Pro football mouthguards are made of high-quality materials like medical-grade silicone or polyurethane, which are more expensive but provide better protection.
Thermoplastic mouthguards can become brittle and break easily, leaving the player vulnerable to dental injuries. On the other hand, silicone and polyurethane mouthguards are flexible and can absorb the impact of a blow, reducing the risk of dental and jaw injuries.
Another factor that sets college and pro football mouthguards apart is customization. Pro football players have access to custom-fitted mouthguards that are molded to fit their teeth perfectly. These mouthguards are made by dental professionals and provide the best possible protection.
College football players, on the other hand, usually wear boil-and-bite mouthguards that can be molded to fit their teeth. However, these mouthguards may not fit as well as custom-fitted mouthguards, leaving the player at risk of dental injuries.
The cost of mouthguards is another factor that contributes to the difference between college and pro football mouthguards. College football programs have limited budgets and may not be able to afford custom-fitted mouthguards for all their players. Therefore, they opt for cheaper, less durable mouthguards that can be replaced more frequently.
Pro football teams, on the other hand, have more resources and can afford to provide their players with custom-fitted mouthguards that offer better protection. The cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard can range from $100 to $500, depending on the material used and the complexity of the molding process.
Impact on Performance
The type of mouthguard a player wears can also affect their performance on the field. A poorly fitting mouthguard can make it difficult for a player to breathe, speak, and communicate with their teammates. It can also affect their ability to bite down and maintain a firm grip on their mouthguard.
A custom-fitted mouthguard can improve a player’s performance by providing a comfortable, secure fit that allows them to breathe and communicate effectively. It can also reduce the risk of distractions and discomfort during the game.
In conclusion, college football mouthguards differ from pro football mouthguards in several ways. The material, customization, cost, and impact on performance are all factors that contribute to this difference. While college football programs may not have the resources to provide their players with custom-fitted mouthguards, it is essential to prioritize player safety and invest in high-quality protective gear.