What do we call them?
This is the age old question. Do we call them Pacifier Mouthpieces, Lip Guards, Lip Protectors, or Binky Mouth Guards? When this apparatus was first invented it was called, "Protector for the lips and teeth". Not as creative of a name as it was an invention.
Call them what you will, for this article we will refer to them as pacifier mouthpieces. Pacifier mouthpieces are one of the oldest pieces of football equipment and protective gear.
Purpose of the Pacifier Mouthpiece Invention
The Pacifier Mouthpiece was invented around the same time face masks for helmets were invented (or what they called “face bars” at the time). There is a patent filed in 1950 and granted in 1952 for a “Protector for the lips and teeth”, which states that purpose of the invention “is to provide protection for the lips and teeth of a football player or other sports participant without impairing the vision of the wearer and without interfering with his breathing.”1 The inventor of this product, Miller Scott, was offering this invention as an alternative to football face masks which were contemporaneously being promulgated as a way to protect the players nose and teeth (we will see, in another blog, that in the late 50's a study proved that face masks were not sufficient in the protection of the teeth and mouth as they theorized; therefore, mouthguards were made mandatory in college and high school football sports). Another interesting note was that the apparatus was designed to attach to the chin strap of the helmet as players were still using helmets without face masks.
Another purpose of the invention of the Pacifier Mouthpiece was so the player could easily spit it out of his mouth, after the end of each play when the potential for contact was over. Also, the pacifier mouthpiece was designed so it could not “be swallowed nor forced into or become lodged in the players throat should he receive a blow on the mouth or be knocked unconscious.”1
Pacifier Mouthpieces for other sports
All these benefits of Pacifier Mouthpieces are still applicable today. Though this mouthguard is seen primarily in the sport football, this mouthguard is also being seen in other sports like lacrosse, and the author of this blog has been told by karate tournament participants that this mouthguard is becoming frequent in the sport of Karate as well. Also, this device can be worn, especially the pacifier mouthpieces with the smaller holes, for athletes that want to restrict their breathing for respiratory conditioning to prepare for higher elevation areas they may be competing in.
A wide range of Pacifier mouthpieces can be purchased at Damage Control Mouthguards with cool designs, or plain colors. You can also get the mouth guards with Cub Swanson’s Killer Cub Logo, or with Paul Wall Grillz on them.
For more on pacifier mouthguards, or to learn about any of our sports mouthguard products, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.
1.Scott, Miller.“US2589504A United States” June. 24, 1950, https://patents.google.com/patent/US2589504A/, March 21,2019.