While most who participate in heavy contact sports like football, boxing or MMA naturally are aware of the important reasons for wearing a mouthguard during competition, certain other sports or common activities bring less certainty. Does the sport or activity being performed present enough risk to the mouth and head area to wear a mouthguard, or can you safely take part in it without one?
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we’re proud to offer not only a variety of custom mouthguard choices and other options for any sport, from Muay Thai to wrestling to basketball mouthguard options, but also a high level of expertise. One of the activities we’re asked about regularly when it comes to this gray area for wearing a mouthguard: Cycling. And in virtually every case, our answer is the same: Yes, cyclists absolutely should wear a mouthguard while biking, a choice that brings multiple specific benefits. Let’s take a look.
Anyone who has fallen on a bicycle, whether on the road or in a mountain biking scenario, knows how significant this impact can be. We often have limited control over the way we fall during cycling accidents – handlebars can pose a physical impediment, for starters, and many such falls involve a sudden loss of balance or coordination.
Wearing a helmet is the obvious first line of defense against head-related injuries here, but you can go further. A mouthguard provides additional protection for the teeth, mouth, jaw and nearby areas – areas a helmet doesn’t necessarily protect, but can still easily be damaged by the jarring impact of a fall. A custom-fit mouthguard binds to these important areas in your mouth and gives them a soft-but-durable cushion during impact.
Improved Performance and Study Results
In addition, did you know that if performance and endurance are important factors to you as a cyclist, these actually may improve with proper mouthguard selection? It’s true.
A 2015 study by researcher Stavan R. Bhatt, MS, found that people performing aerobic activity (in this case, a treadmill run was used as the medium) showed improvements in cardiovascular and aerobic performance when using a custom-fitted mouthguard as compared to when they didn’t use one. It improved the maximum levels of voluntary oxygen consumption, plus increased their ability to perform exercise for a longer period without becoming tired.
As the above areas clearly indicate, wearing a mouthguard during an activity like cycling holds benefits for both your safety and your aerobic improvement. But there’s one note that’s vital here: Both areas we’ve discussed hold these benefits specifically for custom-fit mouthguards. The cheap, stock mouthguard you can pick up at your grocery store does not offer you anywhere near the same benefits, particularly when it comes to molding to your mouth and allowing for proper protection in case of an accident. For this reason, a custom-fit mouthguard from our team should be your first choice as a cyclist.
For more on cycling and mouthguard usage, or to learn about any of our other sports mouthguard options, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.