Protect your pearly whites
A $10 mouthguard may be one of the smallest and most inexpensive pieces of hockey equipment, but one of the most important. If you've ever seen hockey players smile during a game you may notice something in common, most of them are missing some teeth. This should come as no surprise when you consider that a six-ounce hockey puck can reach speeds up to 120mph and hit teeth with an impact force of 1,250lbs.
Mouthguards are becoming mandatory in most leagues and are a good hockey guard to give you added protection. It is made of a rubberized plastic material. Mouthguards not only protect your teeth, but also soften blows to the head. A mouthguard can help prevent concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, incidents of unconsciousness, jaw fractures and neck injuries.
Store bought mouthguards come pre-formed to mold to the mouth during use or it can be softened by boiling and then molded by biting down on it. You may also get your dentist to custom build a mouthguard for you by making a mold cast of your teeth and then forming the guard.
Mouthguards come in general sizes to fit youths, teenagers and adults and now come in a variety of colors. A colored mouthguard is recommended so it can easily be spotted in case of an accident.
Care of your mouthguard
Clean your mouthguard by rinsing it with soap and warm (not hot) water. Before putting it away, soak the mouthguard in mouthwash. Keep your mouthguard in a well-ventilated plastic container when not in use. Make sure the container has enough small holes in it so the mouthguard will dry. Heat is bad for mouthguards as they may change shape, so don't leave it in direct sunlight or in your car etc. Don't handle or wear someone else's mouthguard because each one molds to the individual's teeth.