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Do All AFL Players Wear Mouthguards?

Here in Australia, it’s pretty safe to say that we generally love our footy, and why wouldn’t we? There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than firing up the barbie, throwing a couple of juicy burgers on there, grabbing a couple of coldies from the fridge, and settling down to enjoy the big game.

The AFL in Australia, and indeed, in other parts of the world too, is big business and is extremely popular. While most AFL fans are concerned over whether the Magpies will beat the Eagles, or whether Jake Stringer will be fit next season, learning how these athletes prepare for a game is actually pretty fascinating.

As you know, footy is hard hitting, and it is certainly not for the weak. This full contact sport is physically demanding and consequently, accidents and injuries do occur. The last thing any AFL player wants is to suffer a broken, chipped, or lost tooth when playing, which is why mouthguards in the AFL are so important.

But, do all AFL players wear mouthguards, and if so, why? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out today.

Why do AFL players wear mouthguards?

As you footy fans out there will know, football isn’t exactly a soft sport. It’s hard hitting, the action is end to end, and injuries can, and do happen.

Footy players are susceptible to all manner of injuries, particularly those affecting the mouth and teeth. There have been countless teeth cracked, chipped, and even knocked out in the AFL since it was first founded way back in 1896, and no doubt there will be more to follow as the years go by.

In lower league AFL games and in footy games in general, players, particularly younger players, wear mouthguards to protect their teeth and their mouths. Not only do mouthguards help to prevent damage to the teeth, or even teeth being knocked out, they also help to prevent the teeth from damaging your gums, tongue, cheek, or mouth in general.

Do all AFL players wear mouthguards?

Mouthguards in sport are now more common than ever, and they are used in all manner of sports, even those which are not particularly physically demanding.

But do all AFL players wear mouthguards? Well, no. Whether an athlete wears a mouthguard or not is down to them. Research has found that during match play, as many as 90% of elite players wear them at top level, compared with 60% of players at junior level.

During training, just 2% of juniors were found to wear mouthguards, compared with 40% of elite players. Now, of course this is mainly because training is far less intense and physical, but even so, the contrast between players at junior level, and elite, is very noticeable.

Why do AFL players sometimes remove their mouthguards?

While we can’t provide a definitive answer to this question because all players are unique, speaking broadly, players often remove them as a result of their training drills.

During training, players will practice goal kicking over and over again, without wearing a mouthguard. During a match, if a player has a goal kicking opportunity, they will remove their mouthguard because it replicates how they practised their goal kicking drills during training.

Removing a mouthguard during set shots helps them to achieve a state of flow, replicating what they did in training. Plus, sometimes a player’s mouthguard will come loose or be uncomfortable and they will simply remove it and play without it, hopefully without sustaining any damage to their mouth or their teeth.

Do you need a mouthguard for footy?

Legally, you do not need to wear a mouthguard during a footy match, or when taking part in training.

As mouthguards play a crucial role in preventing injuries and protecting the teeth, mouth, tongue, and gums during a game of footy, it is strongly recommended that you wear one, preferably a good quality one made to a high spec by a professional dentist.

What happens if you don’t wear a mouthguard for football?

As mentioned, you aren’t forced to wear a mouthguard for footy, and truth be told there are some players out there who prefer not to wear them.

If you do play football and don’t use a mouthguard however, you are at risk of losing a tooth or teeth, or sustaining an oral injury which would otherwise be prevented by wearing a mouthguard.

Why Dental Armour mouthguards are perfect for football players

If you’re a football player, whether you play competitively or simply like a kick about with your mates down at the park, there is always the risk of an oral injury.

The last thing you want is to suffer a broken tooth, a chipped tooth, or even a lost tooth because you refused to wear a mouthguard, which is why Dental Armour mouthguards are so important.

Dental Armour custom mouthguards are custom-made for you based upon moulds and impressions taken of your teeth. Our mouthguards offer tri-layer lamination, are designed to snugly and comfortably fit the contours of your mouth, they’re easy to clean and maintain, plus they look the part as well.

Whether you take part in footy, MMA, boxing, hockey, rugby, or any other contact sport, do yourself a favour and protect your oral health with the best mouthguards on the market. Book an appointment at Dental Armour today.