There are a few sports or activities where common mouthguard needs will often vary from the standard expectation, and one of the simplest and most common examples here is football. Anyone who watches the NFL or college football has seen athletes wearing larger items that cover not only their mouths, but also their entire lips - these are called pacifier mouthguards, or lip guards.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're happy to offer a wide range of football mouthguards, including pacifiers, boil-and-bite mouthguards, custom mouthguards and more. What exactly is a pacifier mouthguard, what are its key benefits in football settings, and how can you ensure you've got the right lip guard for yourself or your child? This two-part blog series will go over everything you should know.
Components of a Pacifier Mouthguard
As its name suggests, and as you can tell simply by looking at any football player wearing one, a pacifier mouthguard is designed to resemble a baby's pacifier - but only from the outside. They are made up of a few key components that all serve different purposes:
The shield: This is the larger piece of plastic or rubber that covers the entire lips and mouth area, as mentioned earlier. Its main purpose is to protect both the teeth and soft tissues like lips, cheeks and tongue from impacts.
The strap or tether: This will differ based on manufacturer, but many newer pacifier mouthguards come with straps that connect the shield to the facemask, keeping them both in place at all times.
The bite plate: Attached to the strap is a bite plate - this part of the mouthguard is inserted between top and bottom teeth and helps hold everything in place.
Ventilation holes: Many newer or high-quality pacifier mouthguards will come with ventilation holes, which help reduce the buildup of saliva and allow for easier breathing.
Benefits in Football Settings
So why do football players wear pacifier mouthguards instead of traditional ones? One key benefit is that they provide full coverage not only for teeth, but also for other sensitive areas like lips. This helps protect against direct impacts or collisions, especially in a high-contact sport like football. Additionally, the ventilation holes in pacifier mouthguards can be crucial for athletes who need to talk on the field - they allow for better communication with teammates while still offering protection.
Furthermore, pacifier mouthguards are often seen as more comfortable and less cumbersome compared to traditional ones. This can be especially important for younger athletes who may have trouble adapting to a new piece of equipment.
In part two of our series, we'll go over some tips on choosing the ideal pacifier mouthguard for you or your child. Whether it's for football or any other activity, we've got the perfect fit at Damage Control Mouthguards! Contact us today to learn more about any of our products.