A MOUTH GUARD MAY BE one of the smallest and most inexpensive pieces of hockey equipment—but it is certainly one of the most important. A mouth guard can help prevent concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, unconsciousness, jaw fractures, and neck injuries.
Mouth guards come in general sizes to fit youths, teenagers, and adults. They are available in clear and a variety of colors, but note that USA Hockey requires colored mouth guards so they can be easily spotted in the event of an accident.
Mouth guards come preformed but will mold to the mouth during use. You can speed up the molding process by boiling the mouth guard in water, placing it in your mouth, and biting down on the softened mouth guard to mold to your teeth. Dentists can create a custom mouth guard for you as well.
There are different types of mouth guards to fit the various needs of individual players. Shock Doctor is a mouth guard manufacturer that provides the player with a variety of options. It offers a popular model made specifically for braces. Shock Doctor also utilizes Gel Max lining, which custom molds the mouth guard to the teeth for a tight, yet comfortable, fit. The Shock Doctor Gravity helps the player speak and breathe more easily.
Question: I see my 6-year-old daughter skating around with her mouth guard hanging out of her mouth. Does she really need to wear it since she’s only a Mite?
Answer: USA Hockey requires a mouth guard for all youth hockey players, regardless of age. Often, when a player is not wearing a mouth guard, it’s because a particular one is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit right. Experiment with different brands, and be sure to follow any directions for shaping and trimming them.