While most athletes in contact or contact-adjacent sports are well aware of the importance of mouthguards during play, a related theme is sometimes a bit hazier: Practice. Wearing a mouthguard is often just as important during practice or training sessions as it is during the game itself, and there are several reasons why.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're happy to offer custom designed mouthguards for numerous athletes and sports, including the option to design your own mouthguard that's incredibly comfortable and can be worn in various settings. Why is mouthguard usage important in practice and training, and what should athletes be thinking about within this area? This two-part blog series will go over a few themes to think about.
Dangers Still Exist
While it's true that practice often isn't as intense or dangerous as an actual game, the fact is that athletes are still at risk for mouth-related injuries during these sessions. From slips and falls to wayward elbows and more, there's always potential for something to happen that could damage teeth or gums.
And since athletes are typically wearing less protective gear during practice -- no pads, helmets, etc. -- they may be even more vulnerable to injury. As such, it's important to take whatever precautions possible, and wearing a mouthguard is an easy way to do so.
Getting Used to the Mouthguard
Practice is meant to help athletes get better at their sport, but it can also be seen as a way to get used to new gear or equipment. If an athlete is going to be wearing a mouthguard during games, it only makes sense to get used to wearing one during practice as well.
This allows athletes to get a feel for how the mouthguard affects their breathing, speaking, and overall comfort level. It also gives them a chance to experiment with different types of mouthguards until they find the one that best meets their needs.
You don't want to purchase a new mouthguard, only to notice that it's not right for your mouth when the game is just starting and it's too late to do anything about it.
Improves Breathing and Other Elements
Far from having a negative impact on your breathing or other aspects of your game, wearing a mouthguard can actually have some positive benefits. In fact, studies have shown that athletes who wear mouthguards tend to have better stamina and endurance than those who don't.
Athletes who wear mouthguards also report feeling more relaxed during play, which can be attributed to the fact that they're not as worried about sustaining a mouth injury. It's also worth noting that custom mouthguards can be designed with specific breathing channels that help improve airflow and make it easier to breathe while wearing the mouthguard.
Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, which will go over a few more reasons why athletes should wear mouthguards during practice sessions. For more on this, or to learn about any of our custom mouthguards across varying sports, speak to the pros at Damage Control Mouthguards today.