Why Mouthguard is Essential for Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is a thrilling and fast-paced sport that requires a great deal of physical exertion. Players need to be quick on their feet, have excellent hand-eye coordination, and be able to withstand the physical impact of the game. However, one aspect of ice hockey that is often overlooked is the importance of wearing a mouthguard. In this article, we will explore why wearing a mouthguard is essential for ice hockey players.
Prevention of Dental Injuries
One of the most significant reasons why ice hockey players should wear a mouthguard is to prevent dental injuries. The sport is known for its physicality, and players are at high risk of getting hit in the face with a stick, puck, or another player’s body. Without a mouthguard, a player’s teeth and gums are vulnerable to damage, which can result in severe pain, tooth loss, and costly dental procedures.
A mouthguard acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact of a blow to the face and reducing the risk of dental injuries. It can also help prevent cuts and bruises to the lips and tongue, which can be painful and take time to heal.
Protection Against Concussions
Concussions are a significant concern in ice hockey, and players are at high risk of sustaining head injuries. While a mouthguard cannot prevent a concussion, it can help reduce the risk of one. When a player gets hit in the face, the mouthguard absorbs some of the impact, which can help reduce the force of the blow to the head.
Furthermore, a mouthguard can help stabilize the jaw and prevent it from slamming shut during a hit, reducing the risk of a concussion. While a mouthguard cannot completely prevent head injuries, it can help reduce their severity.
Wearing a mouthguard can also improve a player’s breathing during the game. When a player is hit in the face, the natural reaction is to clench the jaw shut. However, this can restrict airflow, making it harder to breathe. A mouthguard helps keep the jaw slightly open, allowing for better breathing during the game.
Improved breathing can help players maintain their stamina and perform better on the ice. It can also reduce the risk of fatigue and exhaustion, which can lead to poor performance and increased risk of injury.
Some players may be hesitant to wear a mouthguard because they find it uncomfortable or bulky. However, modern mouthguards are designed to be comfortable and fit snugly in the mouth, allowing for easy breathing and speaking.
Custom-fit mouthguards are also available, which are molded to a player’s teeth for a perfect fit. These mouthguards are more comfortable than the standard boil-and-bite models and provide better protection against dental injuries and concussions.
Compliance with Regulations
Finally, wearing a mouthguard is mandatory in most ice hockey leagues and competitions. Players who do not wear a mouthguard may be subject to penalties or fines, and in some cases, may be disqualified from playing altogether.
Compliance with regulations is essential for maintaining the safety of all players on the ice. By wearing a mouthguard, players can ensure that they are following the rules and doing their part to prevent injuries on the ice.
Wearing a mouthguard is essential for ice hockey players of all levels. It helps prevent dental injuries, reduces the risk of concussions, improves breathing, increases comfort, and ensures compliance with regulations. By wearing a mouthguard, players can stay safe on the ice and enjoy the game to the fullest.