The rugby mouthguard or mouthpiece is an optional piece of equipment according to the Rugby Union Laws of the Game although most players are increasingly viewing the mouth guard as an essential before stepping on the pitch.
This should come as no surprise with the growing awareness of the dangers of concussions and the belief by some that mouthguards help prevent or lessen the effects of concussions. The benefits of a mouthguard in regards to concussions is still being studied and debated in the rugby and medical communities.
Despite the uncertainty, it seems that the old expression better safe than sorry is good reason to wear a mouthguard in relation to concussions but there are other good reasons to wear a mouthguard.
The mouthpiece was first used in boxing to help avoid lacerations of the lips and tongue after taking a punch. This is also an issue for the rugby player although most of the hits are inadvertent ones that result in cuts inside the mouth but that can almost completely be avoided if properly wearing a mouthguard.
The teeth are also protected by a mouthguard. If you have played rugby long enough you have surely run into a player grinning after a match only to smile and reveal a missing or broken tooth. The ‘badge of honor’ of leaving it on the field does not last long after the party when you find yourself laid out in the dentist chair.
The mouthguard also eliminates the effects of having your teeth clacked together. Even when this does not result in a cut a solid hit can result in some lasting soreness to the jaw area and teeth.
The complaints that mouthguards are uncomfortable to wear and can make breathing more difficult don’t justify the benefits associated with wearing a mouthguard.
World Rugby Shop has a great selection of mouthguards. Get protected today.