Winter is coming, which means it’s time to start preparing for activities in the snow! While most winter athletes focus on gearing up with layers of warm clothing and specialized equipment, there’s one essential piece of safety gear that often goes overlooked: mouthguards.
Winter activities that need mouthguards
Snowboarding, ice hockey, skiing, and even ice skating can pose significant risks to your oral health. Be sure to protect your smile and wear a mouthguard anytime you participate in these activities.
Snowboarders often navigate steep slopes, perform tricks, and ride at high speeds, making them susceptible to accidents that can result in impacts to the face or mouth. A mouthguard acts as a cushion, absorbing the force of the impact and protecting the teeth, gums, and jaw from injuries such as chipped or knocked-out teeth, lip lacerations, and jaw fractures.
Like snowboarding, skiing involves high speeds, sharp turns, and varying terrains, making it possible for accidents to occur, especially in crowded or challenging conditions. In the event of a fall or collision, skiers can sustain injuries to the face and mouth. Wearing a mouthguard can help protect against these.
Ice hockey is a high-contact sport that involves fast-paced movements, sharp turns, and physical collisions. Players frequently handle sticks and pucks, increasing the risk of accidental impacts to the face and mouth. Without proper protection, hockey players are vulnerable to serious dental injuries such as broken or knocked-out teeth, as well as injuries to the lips, tongue, and jaw. Wearing a well-fitted mouthguard is crucial for hockey players as it acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact of blows to the face and reducing the risk of dental trauma.
Although ice skating may not involve pucks and sticks, it still carries a risk of accidental falls and collisions, especially during complex routines and jumps. Regardless of the level of expertise, wearing a mouthguard is a proactive step for ice skaters to safeguard their oral health and prevent potential injuries.
Choosing the right mouthguard for winter sports
There are various types of mouthguards available, including custom-fitted ones that are specifically designed to fit your mouth, providing optimal protection and comfort. Off-the-shelf mouthguards are also available and offer a basic level of protection, although they might not offer the same level of customization as custom-made ones.
Mouthguards keep your mouth safe
Whether you’re speeding down the slopes on a snowboard, gracefully gliding on ice skates, or engaging in the intense physicality of ice hockey, protecting your smile should be a top priority. Stay safe, protect your smile, and let the winter activities begin!
Do you prefer summer sports? Many of them need mouthguards too! Check out “March Madness: How Athletes can Protect their Smiles During Games”.
*Updated December 2023