Why mouthguards matter
Rugby is a tough sport. It’s fast, physical, and challenging – a combination that makes it thrilling to play and watch.
Given how demanding it is, player safety must be made a priority. In addition to pads and scrum caps, one of the most important tools players can keep in their personal protection arsenal is a well-fitted mouthguard.
of rugby union players sustain orofacial traumas and injuries.
decrease in dental claims after New Zealand mandated the use of mouthguards.
reduction to the risk of a player damaging their front teeth using a mouthguard.
Which Makura mouthguard is best for Rugby 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 a Rugby 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 mouthguards in Rugby
The earliest mouthguards were used by boxers and made with a variety of materials including cotton, sponge, and even wood. They became more commonplace after the McTigue-Sharkey fight of 1927 that saw McTigue, the clear frontrunner, forfeit prematurely due to a severely chipped tooth and gashed front lip. This initial acceptance among boxers opened doors for mouthguard use in other contact sports, a shift that has significantly improved player safety. In American football for example, over 50% of all injuries prior to the 1950s involved players' teeth. Rates of dental injuries among football players nowadays have plummeted to less than 3%.
Today, whether or not mouthguards are required in rugby depends on a large extent on where you play:
• Rugby Australia says that players should be encouraged to wear mouthguards, but they are not mandated.
• England Rugby requires school players above school level use mouthguards, although it does not go as far as to necessitate them for all rugby players.
• The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) requires its players to wear mouthguards and has made moves to enforce that regulation.
• In the United states, USA Rugby says that mouthguards should be worn by players
Even if your team's rules don't require you to wear a mouthguard during play, you can still take your safety into your own hands (or mouth) by choosing to use a mouthguard. Remember, dental and orofacial injuries don't affect star players alone. They can happen to anyone, which is why you must always keep yourself protected by wearing a mouthguard.