Mouthguards are becoming more and more common on the soccer pitch.
They are certainly a smart investment, especially when a player runs the risk of dental injury from an aerial challenge, a flailing elbow or hand, or even a ball to the face. A mouthguard acts as a cushion inside the mouth, softening any potential impact.
There are several kinds of mouthguards with the “boil and bite” style being the most common. This type is easy to find and is inexpensive, providing satisfactory protection for the user. However, a complaint with the “boil and bite” is that it’s a little uncomfortable and it can impair breathing and speech.
A “custom made” mouthguard will help remedy these issues, but these can be expensive as the athlete would be required to visit the dentist for a proper fitting.
Whichever mouthguard you choose, keep it clean by using soap, a toothbrush, cold water or mouthwash. Store in a well-ventilated plastic container and keep it away from heat. Check for any wear and tear and replace as needed. Of course, NEVER share your mouthguard.
For more information, check out facebook.com/sportmedsoccer.
Photo: Associated Press