A mouthguard is a piece of equipment that can be simple or highly customized. In addition, there are different brands, price ranges, uses, accessories, and more that are available for you. For this reason, it’s not a wonder if you feel a little overwhelmed as I once did. Enough said, what to consider when choosing a mouthguard for football?
Choose a mouthguard for football based on football position, braces, comfort, protection level, materials, game regulations, and actions during the game. There are lip guards, convertible mouthguards, and custom guards based on the football position and the player’s requirement.
If you plan to choose a mouthguard for football, it is essential to consider several factors. Let’s review each factor individually.
1. Football Position
There are several positions in football, and every position needs a specific degree of protection.
As a rule of thumb, it is appropriate to purchase a mouthguard that sticks to lower and upper brackets to maximize comfort and protect whenever it is used.
Choosing a mouthguard that safeguards the mouth from bloody gums, chipped teeth, and other potential tongue and mouth injuries is important. It’s also important that it can be attached to the helmet, especially in football.
If you don’t know how to attach a mouthguard to a football helmet, check out my instructions about it.
If you wear braces, a regular mouthguard does not fit your mouth. Instead, you need to purchase a mouthguard made exclusively for braces. Otherwise, it could hurt your teeth, gums, and braces as well.
The problem with regular mouthguards is that they can damage brackets if worn directly. It needs to be customized to ensure utmost protection at all times.
There are two options – you can either get your mouthguard customized by an orthodontist or purchase a mouthguard from Shock Doctor that has options for players wearing braces. Alternatively, if you do not wear braces, here are our top recommendations for mouthguards for football players.
Determine the type of brace, and then get your mouthguard customized. This is the best bet if you want a hassle-free mouthguard that can protect you while playing leagues.
I have an in-depth article about the 6 best mouthguards for braces and their reviews if you’re interested. I’m certain you will find it very useful if you have braces.
Comfort is the first and foremost aspect when you choose a mouthguard. The main purpose is to protect your teeth and cover initial molars. However, it needs to remain flexible enough to let you speak, breathe, and much more.
When your mouthguard is hindering in one of the activities, it needs a trim or a replacement based on the situation.
Here are a few questions to ask when you choose a mouthguard:
- Does it fit comfortably?
- Does it let me speak normally?
- Does it offer enough protection?
- Is it easy to maintain?
When you compromise on one of these factors, you will face issues with wearing it forever. Oh, and don’t forget to clean your mouthguard either; it will get in the way of comfort as well.
4. Protection Level
When you choose a mouthguard, you need to evaluate the degree of protection. Generally, several football players choose a lip guard to achieve an extra layer of security and focus further on the game.
If you may have to converse adequately during the game, you need a lip guard mouthpiece that stays strong even if you slightly bite. However, choosing a boil and bite-fitted mouthguard allows you to achieve complete protection.
When you are a goalkeeper, you need an extra layer of security, and this is when you need to get the mouthguard customized or follow the boil and bite method to fit it appropriately. This can save lower and upper teeth throughout the game duration.
If you have narrowed the list of mouthguards, it is time to ask a few questions.
- Is my mouthguard allowing me to talk?
- Am I gagging whenever wearing the mouthguard?
- Is my mouthguard protecting lips, teeth, and the surrounding region?
- Is it interrupting my brace? (For those wearing braces)
- Is my mouthguard causing breathing difficulty?
If you have answered negatively for even one of these questions, you need to set aside the mouthguard and go for a custom-made mouthguard.
Most pre-made football mouthguards are made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride or copolymers. When you are purchasing a mouthguard, always check for the materials used.
The mouthguard should not contain any of these components – phthalates, latex, and bisphenol A (BPA). These are dangerous and not recommended by football associations.
Perhaps, your teeth’ safety matters too. So, it is advisable to go with a mouthguard with dental-safe materials.
7. Game Regulations
League regulations have different stances on mouthguards. NFHS mandates using a mouthguard to protect the mouth from injuries, while football associations in Australia only recommend it, but it is not mandatory.
Before you choose a mouthguard, look at the instruction manual of the league and then use an appropriate mouthguard. Certain leagues recommend double mouthguards.
Perhaps, the last factor to consider is your affordability. An average football mouthguard can cost $9-$25 based upon personal preference and specification. Ensure your budget falls in this range.
How Should a Football Mouthguard Fit?
When you have a mouthguard in mind or at least features it should hold, it’s as important to understand how a mouthguard should fit your mouth?
A football mouthguard should fit within the first two molars and eliminate the need to clench or bite it. A breathable, flexible mouthguard that does not interrupt your conversation and activity is the perfect one for you. Ensure it secures your teeth and protects them at all times.
The main purpose of a football mouthguard is to protect your jaw, teeth, and gums when you are playing a tournament. There is no use if the mouthguard does not fit you properly. Hence, remember to spend enough time aligning and repurposing the mouthguard.
Do You Need a Mouthguard for Flag Football?
It’s not a wonder that football, being one of the highest contact sports in the world, requires a mouthguard. However, what about not so rough variations from them. Does flag football require a mouthguard?
Flag football tournaments recommend using a mouthguard to protect teeth from accidents. Depending on the hosting organization, you may have to wear it during play and practice. Therefore, it’s best to have a mouthguard with you.
If you are a flag football player, you should go for a molded mouthguard that fits in comfortably. This will also align with your style.
Choosing a mouthguard is quite similar, but you may have to trim it after immersing it in a bowl of hot water. This will improve the overall fitting and also protect teeth and gums. If you’re unsure how to mold a mouthguard, please feel free to refer to my easy-to-follow guide about it.
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.