For any hockey player, whether at the youth or adult level, the use of mouthguards is generally required and is very important for safety. And within this sport in particular, one area that has a couple direct connections to mouthguard selection and use is whether the player in question uses a cage or visor on their helmet.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we’re happy to offer a huge range of custom mouthguards for a variety of sports, from football and basketball to MMA, boxing and, yes, hockey mouthguards. How does the sort of helmet protection you wear play into the kind of mouthguard you should be choosing for the upcoming hockey season? Here’s a primer on the common styles available and frequent mouthguard choices within them.
Basic Cage and Visor Differences
Their basic names define much of what separates the cage and visor within a hockey setting. The former refers to a protective cover that’s attached to the top of the helmet, usually made of steel, aluminum, titanium or another metal. Cages will come with a chin guard to rest the head on, with straps that link in this chin guard with the rest of the helmet. At many youth levels of hockey, cages are required for all players.
Visors, on the other hand, are transparent polycarbonate materials that are attached to the helmet. They’re available in both full and half styles, with the latter covering roughly the top part of the face while the former has an entire chin guard setup just like the cage. Certain upper and adult levels of hockey allow players to choose between a visor or cage – the NHL, for instance, requires a half visor for most players but allows cages if a player wants them.
Cage Mouthguard Options
If you’re among the many who use a full cage setup attached to their helmet, you are protected from many forms of impact – but not from collisions between your upper and lower jaw, which a mouthguard is still very important for. This is especially true if you play in a contact league, where impact is even more common.
For this reason, you must ensure that your mouthguard provides proper upper and lower jaw protection. Many with the full cage are able to increase their comfort by limiting the frontal profile while increasing material in possible jaw collision areas.
Full Visor Mouthguard Options
In the majority of cases, those who wear full visors should approach their mouthguard selection in the same way as those who wear cages. There may be a few differing elements in terms of how the mouthguard connects to the helmet, if you use this format, but otherwise the mouthguard profile should be similar.
Half Visor Mouthguard Options
If you wear a half visor, on the other hand, you’re at greater risk of impact from things like sticks, pucks, elbows and more. This means you need a more protective mouthguard in your frontal areas, keeping the teeth protected from potential impact. There are several custom mouthguards out there that will provide this protection without limiting your comfort or ability to breathe properly.
For more on choosing a hockey mouthguard based in part on the kind of helmet protection you wear, or to learn about any of our sport mouthguard choices, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.