Why mouthguards matter
in Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey is a much loved sport, played by over 1.5 million people around the world each year.
It’s fast paced and challenging, but unfortunately without the right protection - mouthguards included – it can also be dangerous.
of all serious ice hockey injuries were head injuries before the introduction of full facemasks and helmets.
of dental injuries are caused by ice hockey sticks whilst playing the sport.
risk of hockey players sustaining an injury each year they play.
Which Makura mouthguard is best for Ice Hockey Players?
Unfortunately the answer to this question isn’t always straight forward because, at the end of the day, the right mouthguard is the one that fits you best. That being said, there are some characteristics you should look out for when choosing an Ice Hockey mouthguard.
A properly fitted mouthguard keeps wearers both comfortable and safe. It should remain securely in place (no clenching required to hold it) even if you jostle it a bit with your tongue, and it shouldn’t make you gag, prevent you from speaking, or inhibit breathing in any way.
All Makura mouthguards are fully CE certified and have achieved Level 2 and Level 3 Impact Resistance. Our BOIL & BITE™ TEPHRA MAX™ is Level 3 Impact Resistant, the highest level achievable for mouth-adapted mouthguards. Our braces compatible LITHOS™ is Level 2 Impact Resistant, the highest attainable for ready-made mouthguards.
Look for attributes like gel-based and flexible liners as well as shock absorbing outers that are suited to the game you play and how you play it. If you have braces, make sure you choose a braces-compatible mouthguard to keep both you and your braces safe from harm.
A brief history of face and mouth protection in Ice Hockey
The first professional player to don a facemask was Clint Benedict, goalie for the Montreal Maroons, who took a puck to the face in January 1930 that sidelined him for a number of weeks. When he finally returned for a game against the New York Rangers, he was wearing what looked like a sparring mask boxers used to cover their noses. Unfortunately the protect-your-face trend didn't stick right away. Benedict stopped wearing his mask soon after, and players (goalies in particular) continued to go without face protection for almost three decades.
The watershed moment came on 1 November 1959 when a puck hit Jacques Plante, goalie for the Montreal Canadians, in his nose and broke it. He left the ice to have his face stitched up and refused to return until he had face protection. Plante went on to design goaltender masks for himself and others, helping to introduce them as everyday equipment and pave the way for them to ultimately become mandatory.
The first hockey mouthguard was, to little surprise, invented by a Canadian in the 1950s. Arthur Wood was both a coach for the Cooksville Hockey Association and a practicing dentist who was dismayed by how many hockey playing children he saw on a regular basis with missing or broken teeth. Along with fellow coach Charlie Patterson, he created a mouthguard for hockey players and went on to make mouthguards mandatory when he became the head of the Cooksville Hockey Association.
Today, mouthguards are commonly used by hockey players of all ages and skill levels. Often they are a required piece of equipment, but when they are not most players still wear them. 90% of National Hockey League (NHL) players, for example, choose to use mouthguards even though the NHL doesn’t mandate them.