why do hockey players wear mouthguards

why do hockey players wear mouthguards

Why do hockey players wear mouthguards?

There are several reasons why hockey players wear mouthguards during games and practices. These protective devices are essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of players on the ice. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of why mouthguards are necessary in hockey.

1. Preventing dental injuries

why do hockey players wear mouthguards

One of the primary reasons why hockey players wear mouthguards is to protect their teeth from injuries. The fast-paced nature of the game, combined with physical contact and the presence of hard objects like pucks and sticks, increases the risk of dental trauma. Mouthguards act as a cushion, absorbing the impact and reducing the likelihood of broken or knocked-out teeth.

Mouthguards also help prevent cuts and lacerations to the lips, tongue, and inner cheeks, which can occur during collisions or accidental contact with other players.

2. Reducing the risk of concussions

Another crucial aspect of wearing mouthguards in hockey is their potential to reduce the risk of concussions. Although mouthguards primarily protect the teeth, they also provide some level of shock absorption for the jaw and head. This can help minimize the force transmitted to the brain during a collision or fall, potentially reducing the severity and frequency of concussions.

3. Enhancing speech and communication

While wearing a mouthguard may initially feel uncomfortable, players quickly adapt to speaking and communicating effectively with it in place. Mouthguards are designed to fit snugly over the teeth, allowing players to talk without obstruction. This is crucial for on-ice communication with teammates, coaches, and officials, ensuring effective coordination and game strategy.

4. Improving breathing

Mouthguards are typically designed with breathing channels that allow players to breathe freely during physical exertion. These channels prevent the mouthguard from obstructing the airway, ensuring optimal oxygen intake during intense gameplay. By improving breathing, mouthguards help players maintain their stamina and performance throughout the game.

5. Protecting against jaw fractures

Hockey players are susceptible to jaw fractures due to the physical nature of the sport. Mouthguards provide a layer of protection for the jawbone by absorbing and dispersing the force of impacts. They act as a cushion, reducing the risk of fractures and minimizing the potential for long-term jaw damage.

6. Encouraging responsible behavior

Wearing a mouthguard is not only a safety requirement but also a display of responsible behavior. By wearing a mouthguard, players set an example for younger athletes and promote a culture of safety and injury prevention. It emphasizes the importance of taking proactive measures to protect oneself and prioritize personal well-being.

7. Compliance with regulations

In many hockey leagues and organizations, wearing a mouthguard is mandatory. Players who fail to comply with this rule may face penalties or be prohibited from participating in games. By wearing a mouthguard, players ensure they are in compliance with the regulations of their respective leagues and maintain their eligibility to play.

8. Psychological reassurance

Wearing a mouthguard can provide players with psychological reassurance, boosting their confidence on the ice. Knowing that their teeth and jaws are protected can help players focus on their performance without worrying about potential injuries. This mental peace can contribute to improved concentration and overall gameplay.

9. Cost-effective dental protection

Compared to the expense of dental treatments and procedures, mouthguards are a cost-effective way to protect teeth and jaws. Investing in a high-quality mouthguard can save players from extensive dental work and associated expenses in the event of an injury. It is a small investment that can provide significant long-term benefits.


Mouthguards are an integral part of a hockey player’s safety gear. They protect against dental injuries, reduce the risk of concussions, enhance speech and communication, improve breathing, and safeguard against jaw fractures. Wearing a mouthguard also promotes responsible behavior, ensures compliance with regulations, provides psychological reassurance, and offers cost-effective dental protection. By wearing mouthguards, hockey players prioritize their safety and well-being on the ice.

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