While most athletes participating in heavy contact sports like football, boxing and MMA are aware of the importance of wearing a mouthguard, it is often overlooked in other sports unless they require it to be worn.
In fact, without proper protection to the mouth, a serious fall or strong blow to this area can result in serious injuries and soaring medical bills. Statistics have shown that every year, more than 6 million teeth are knocked out and over 700,000 emergency room visits due to dental injuries occur.
At Nxtrnd, sports safety is of utmost concern. In this article, we look at a sport that doesn't usually require mouthguards but should!
On a regular basis, we get asked what sports present enough risk to the mouth and head area to require a mouthguard. One of these sports is Mountain Biking and Road Cycling.
In virtually every case, our answer is yes. Bike riders should absolutely wear a mouthguard, a choice that brings multiple benefits that we will cover below.
In most cases, mountain bikers avoid mouthguards but wear a helmet that protects them from concussions and impacts to the head. However, all riders know a friend or riding partner that lost a tooth after a fall.
Whether mountain biking or road biking, athletes have limited control over the way they fall during accidents. For starters, if a full face helmet is not being worn and an athlete suffers a sudden loss of balance or coordination, a common mouth injury results from the bikes handlebars that can easily chip or knock out a few teeth.
The obvious first line of defense should always be your helmet, but in order to cover the areas a helmet doesn't necessarily protect, we recomment the use of a mouthguard. In fact, by wearing a mouthguard your teeth, mouth, jaw and nearby areas which could easily be damaged by the impact of a fall are sure to be protected.
A Nxtrnd Mouthguard will tightly mold to the shape of your teeth and allow ease of speech and breathability while providing them with a soft yet durable cushion during impact.
Mountain bikers and road cyclists often avoid wearing mouthguards thinking they are a waste of time and decrease performance.
However, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, mountain bikers and road cyclists using a proper mouthguard were able to increase their VO2 max.This VO2 increase is caused by the slight mouth opening the guard creates while being worn. If you're protection equipment aids your performance and endurance, it is definitely worth looking into.
In addition, a secondary study done in 2015 found that athletes performing aerobic activities showed an increase in cardiovascular and aerobic performance when wearing a properly fitted mouthguard as compared to when they did not. This increase helped improve oxygen intake resulting in an extended ability to perform a workout before becoming tired.
As discussed above, wearing a properly fitted and well designed mouthguard will benefit your performance as well as your safety.
To obtain benefits in aerobic performance and mouth protection, we recommend choosing a mouth guard that can be properly molded to your teeth and that features material only in areas where impacts are made.
This design caracteristic can not be found in mouthguards sold at grocery stores. At Nxtrnd, we recommend that our Rush, Zero and Classic models be your first choice when it comes to cycling mouthguards.