Across several sports and activities, mouthguards are a highly common and useful piece of equipment. They’re considered standard in several major sports, from football and MMA areas to hockey and often sports like basketball or wrestling.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we’re proud to offer a wide range of custom mouthguard options, along with several other alternatives for you or your child athlete. Unfortunately, due to the popularity and necessity of mouthguard products in several areas, a number of silly myths and misconceptions have also become popular over the last few decades – to the point where several of them are so well-known that many athletes or parents make mistakes based on them. Let’s go over three of the most prevalent myths about mouthguards in sports, and set you straight so you don’t make the wrong choice.
Myth #1: Bigger is Better
This is a myth that pervades several industries, and can be particularly harmful within the mouthguard realm. There’s an assumption among some that the bigger a mouthguard is, the more padding it will hold and the better it will protect the mouth.
Simply put, this isn’t true. A big part of safety and protection for an athlete is comfort – an ill-fitting mouthguard will not only be uncomfortable, it could limit breathing or movement and may actually protect the wearer less than a properly-fitting alternative.
It’s important to note here that every mouth is different, and this is why custom mouthguards are so valuable. Instead of dealing with bulky segments that don’t quite fit your jaw structure, a custom mouthguard will fit snugly and precisely match your mouth. You won’t have to bite or clench your teeth just to hold the mouthguard in place, and proper air flow will be promoted so you’ll have no breathing or gag reflex issues.
Myth #2: Mouthguards Prevent All Concussions
While we’re proud of the products we offer and the protection they provide, we’re not here to make ridiculous false claims – such as the relatively common myth that mouthguards will completely prevent concussions during contact sports.
Mouthguards absolutely do provide fantastic protection to the mouth and jaw, including limiting the jarring sensation from collisions and ensuring teeth don’t collide with each other or the tongue, but they are not designed to prevent concussions completely and should not be used this way. They do indeed lower concussion risks in certain kinds of collisions, but this theme should not be taken too far. This kind of assumption from parents, in particular, can lead to improper safety practices and greater risk of injury for kids who think they’re at no risk of concussion during a game like football or hockey.
Myth #3: Mouthguards Aren’t Helpful At All
Now, some hear the above correction regarding concussion myths and swing completely in the other direction: They assume that if a concussion can’t be prevented completely, there’s simply no point in anyone wearing a mouthguard during sports.
This is perhaps an even more damaging myth than our others, and once again it’s totally false. Mouthguards have been proven time and time again to prevent several injury types, including several areas inside the mouth and related to the jaw area. Even major sports leagues like the NHL and NFL have fully endorsed and required mouthguard usage among all players, and they should be considered an absolute must for any athlete in a contact or high-risk sport.