Being optional, mouth guards are not always seen on football players but remain highly recommended. In fact, you will notice the majority of NFL players wearing different types of mouth guards during a game.
Like in all contact sports, injuries in football are common and if you don't have the right protection equipment while playing, your risk of injury increases enormously. Most people believe that cleats, shoulder pads and a helmet are all you need in terms of protection on the field. Athletes always hesitate adding equipment because they believe it will inhibit movement and decrease performance. However, this is not the case.
In fact, the more safety equipment an athlete wears, the healthier he will be and the better he will feel which will increase his performance. Since the most common injuries in football are cracked and broken teeth, this article will show the best football mouth pieces and the models worn on game day.
Our top 3 Football mouthguards are ranked as followed:
- Best Convertable Football Mouthguard: ONE
- Best Mouthguard with Connected Strap: TWO
- Best Moldable Mouthguard: ZERO
Why Should You Wear A Football Mouthguard
The main purpose of a mouth guard is to protect your teeth from any impact. In a football game, a player might take solid head to head shot where his natural reflex will have him clench his teeth to absorb the impact.
Without a mouthguard, when biting down to absorb the impact, there's a good chance he may chip or break a tooth. Mouth guards help protect the teeth by acting as a shock absorber and lessening the impact to the jaw.
What Is The Best Football Mouthguard
When deciding on what mouthguard to purchase, there are a few key aspect to look for.
A good football mouthpiece has thick material in the important impact zones so that when biting down, the top and bottom teeth don't make contact. This added material provides more shock absorption helping reduce the risk of potentially losing teeth or breaking the jaw. In fact, a thick mouthguard will remain comfortable in the athletes’ mouth as long as it's added material is under the molars and in front of the mouth area.
Even though school programs tend to give out mouth guards, we do not recommend their use. The standard mouthpieces schools give out are very thin and cheaply made, and have a reduced life span. Because of their poor design and thin material, the guards are usually very poor at absorbing hits and protecting the mouth.
It is much safer that the athlete purchase his own mouthpiece simply because of the higher quality. In fact, purchasing his own guard will allow the player to choose the model specifically designed for his sport’s needs.
Every mouthguard is made of different materials and material layering’s which makes specific models better at absorbing certain impact types.
To protect the teeth and reduce the likelihood of concussion or other injuries to the jaw, it is always best to buy something made of good quality materials and from a trusted manufacturer.
What Mouthguards Do American Football Players Wear
Since NFL players are not obligated by rule to wear mouth guards, they are free to wear whatever guard they want.
One of the more popular models is the pacifier style mouthpiece. At Nxtrnd, we make one of the top rated and best-selling pacifier guards, and can be seen here.
Different Kinds Of Football Mouth Guards
In football, two different types of mouth guards can be noticed. Depending on the athletes position and style, he may want a mouth guard with tether, meaning it can be attached to the helmet or a detached mouth guard, meaning it is worn in the mouth without being connected to your helmet.
Mouthguard with tether:
Mouth guards with tether, also known as "strapped mouthguards" offer the same protective benefits as their counterpart, but with some slight differences.
Being attached to your facemask, the guard will not get lost on the field. The guard can hang off the helmet between games when the player needs to drink or speak to teammates. Ready to go from the packaging, these guards do not require a fitting process. Their functionality is what makes them so popular amongst all positions in football. Also, most models feature a lip shield protecting the players’ front teeth and lips from cuts and lacerations.
Seen in almost all contact sports, detached mouthguards or more commonly called "in-the-mouth mouthguard" represent the traditional style guard designed to protect the teeth and interior mouth only.
The benefit of this style of guard is the customized fit offered. Unlike the strapped guards, traditional guards can be molded to your teeth for a customized fit allowing ease of speech and breathability without having to remove it.
For positions that demand recurrent speech, such as a quarterback, a tradition mouthguard is the go-to. In the article below, we break down our top picks for the best mouth guards in terms of price and effectiveness in saving your teeth!
1. Nxtrnd ONE™ Lip Protector Mouthguard (With Tether)
- Industry Leading Protection: Extra-thick bite pads protect the mouths interior and a solid lip shield protects the mouths exterior.
- Enhanced Airflow: Signature oxygen hole is the largest on the market with a total width of 27 millimeters. Think more clearly and perform better.
- Unbeatable Comfort: Weighing in at nearly half the weight of its competitors, the guard is the lightest and most comfortable in its class.
Nxtrnd is known as one of the most prominent brands in the impact sports industry. The ONE™ model continues to push the limits in terms of fit and protection in the football mouth pieces category. Its lip shield covers both the upper and lower lips protecting from potential cuts and bruises, and the reinforced bite pads absorb and disperse impact energy protecting the jaw from severe collisions.
Made from our signature reinforced thermoplastic material, this mouthguard absorbs 90% more energy than your standard store bought guards, and also features an over-sized breathing channel delivering 2X more airflow.
The ONE™ is one of our top choices for the best mouth guard for football because of the increased protection it provides to any player on the field. It also features a removable strap that you can secure to your face guard enabling the athlete to remove it from his mouth in between games when hydration is needed or whenever he feels the need.
Because of the overall size of the mouth guard, talking may be an issue. However, that’s a small price to pay for the security it provides.
2. Nxtrnd ZERO™ Low Profil Mouthguard (Detached)
- Ultra-Thin: Its 1.6mm frame protects your teeth while making it easy to talk, drink, and breathe.
- Comfortable: Perfectly adapts to the curves of your mouth by molding itself around your teeth and gums offering a comfortable fit.
- Trusted By Professionals: Is the go-to mouthpiece brand for many players across the United States, Canada and Europe.
The ZERO™ model is a big name in the mouth guard industry and can been seen on athletes in multiple sports. This guard is great for football because of the ventilation it offers and the strategically placed impact absorbing holes it has throughout the material. Its slim fit makes the guard a must have for players that need to communicate easily and provides an incredibly comfortable fit.
Being one of the top picks for mouth pieces in contact sports, the Nxtrnd ZEROs™ innovative design will effectively disperse impact and protect all teeth from injury.
Our unique material layering allows for a customized fit which firmly grips on the mouth guard when biting down on it.
A football mouth piece like this one will surely give the athlete a different experience from regular mouth guards.
History Of Mouthguards
Mouthguards were first introduced in 1947 by a Los Angeles dentist named Dr. Rodney Lilyquist. Dr. Lilyquist made the first mouth guard from a transparent acrylic resin making mouth protection more comfortable and less noticeable when worn.
Shortly after his first model, football and basketball players began giving the new product exposure by wearing it during national and international championship games which quickly led to nationwide recognition.The American Dental Association:
Research on mouthguard effectiveness only started in the mid-1950s. In 1960, the American Dental Association (ADA) had determined their function was in fact beneficial and began recommending mouth guard use in all contact sports.
By 1962, high schools in the U.S. made mouthguards mandatory for all football athletes and shortly after made them mandatory for all basketball players. From the first season, these new rules had direct impact on mouth injuries which saw a dramatic decrease in the number of dental injuries. Players in all contact sports have since been required to wear a mouthguard.
Do Mouthguards Stop Concussions
At this stage, there is no convincing evidence or direct correlation between mouth guards and concussion reduction. When reading the studies, there are no claims established on medical principles proving that mouthguards would offer effective protection against brain or spinal cord injuries. The results are largely due to the fact that no large studies have been performed on this subject yet.
To fully understand how mouth guards act on the human body, it is critical that a large and controlled trial be performed so that sports practitioners can accurately advises athletes of safety issues and the best ways of preventing issues.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence. It’s always better to protect your teeth and jaw, rather than taking the risk.
Related Mouthguard QuestionsHow do you wear a mouthguard for football?
The challenge most athletes face when having to protect their teeth is choosing the right mouthguard. This article will break down the top 5 qualities you should consider when looking into a mouthguard: Protection - Comfort - Sport Specific - Ease of speech - BreathabilityHow do you talk with a mouthguard?
A well designed mouth guard will only feature added material in the relevant impact zones, under the molars, and on the front part of the guard if designed for use in combat sports. When purchasing a mouth guard, a good rule of thumb is to look for one that is made with as little material as possible in areas along the inside of your teeth.Do mouthguards go on top or bottom?
Mouth guards are there to prevent your teeth from knocking into each other, and also to prevent you from biting into your tongue. Usually, you only need one layer. To find what guard is best for you, close your mouth and slowly bring your teeth closer together.
For most people, their natural position is that the top front teeth will slightly overlap much of the front bottom teeth. This overlap reduces the risk of bottom teeth damage but increases risk of damage to the top teeth. Since the TOP teeth are the most susceptible to damage or being knocked out or loosened, they demand a mouth guard's protection.
McCrory P. Do mouthguards prevent concussion? - British Journal of Sports Medicine 2001;35:81-82.