Are NHL Players Required to Wear Mouthguards? (5 Types Worn)

Hockey is one of the roughest sports around. Players are often checked into the boards, and all sorts of sticks and pucks are flying around at high speeds. While injuries are relatively rare, they can still happen. Hockey players of all ages and ability levels now use mouthguards on a regular basis. Even when they aren’t, the majority of players still wear them when they aren’t necessary.

The NHL requires players to wear certain equipment (e.g., helmets, jerseys, gloves) but does not require a mouthguard. If you play hockey, you should know that there is no requirement for mouthguards and how it would affect your ability to receive workman’s compensation if you were hurt during a game.

This article will discuss the 5 types of Mouthguards worn by NHL players.


5 Types of Mouthguards Worn by Hockey Players

In Hockey, there are often multiple layers of protection. In addition to a helmet and other gear, mouthguards are common. In fact, some players don’t stop at one mouthguard either. The purpose of these different appliances is to keep the athlete as safe as possible from high contact and high-impact injuries.  

Hockey players are required to wear a helmet, which provides some protection for the teeth. However, when you are in the game, your mouthguard may fall out or be uncomfortable if it is not properly fitting. Other injuries can easily happen that will result in severe dental damage. Players wear mouthguards to prevent these injuries.

Mouthguards come in many different styles and colors, as well as with a variety of features. If you play hockey, you should keep an eye out for some considerations when it comes to picking out the perfect mouthguard for you.

The following list describes the 5 types of Mouthguards worn by NHL Players:

Foam Rubber Mouthguard

Mouthguards are not required, but this is the easiest type to wear. It is made of a soft rubber pulled tight over your teeth and wrapped around your head. The metal wire running through it keeps the rubber from shifting around in your mouth. This type must be rolled up before packing into your hockey bag. The Foam Rubber Mouthguard is the least expensive kind, and there are no appliances to add to it.

One disadvantage of this type is that it does not provide enough protection for players who wear braces, false teeth, or dental work. It also offers little stability in the mouth, so speech can be difficult if you need to talk to teammates during a game.

Stock Mouthguard

This is the mouthguard that most players wear. It must be fitted by a dentist or licensed professional and color-treated to ensure it gives full protection. A stock mouthguard does not require any additional appliances and is ready for use right out of the box. However, since there are no appliances, this type may not properly fit your teeth and jaw.

Stock mouthguards are made of a thermoplastic material that is custom-fitted to your teeth by a dentist following an impression or mold. This type of mouthguard will fit securely in your mouth and give you good protection, but if the impressions are made incorrectly, the fit may be uncomfortable. It is also more expensive than most other types because a dentist must make a special mouthguard.

This guard is pre-formed to fit your mouth. It is made of strong, flexible plastic or rubber material. You place it in hot water to soften it, then fit it over your teeth and bite down until the guard cools and sets in shape. The Stock Mouthguard often includes an attached strap that you can fasten behind your head. This type will keep your mouthguard from falling out or shifting around in your mouth. A disadvantage of this option is that the rubber shrinks slightly when it is cooled, which will make it a poor fit if you have braces or false teeth. It does not offer protection against tooth loss.

Boil and Bite Mouthguard

Instead of using the pre-formed plastic or rubber stock mouthguard, players can buy a Boil and Bite Mouthguard, which is available in many styles. These are also made of strong, flexible plastic or rubber material. You boil the guard briefly to soften it, then bite down until it cools and sets like the Stock Mouthguard. The advantage to this type is that you can re-heat and remold it once or twice if it doesn’t fit well the first time. Another advantage of this mouthguard is that there are no appliances to add to it. It provides protection against tooth loss but does not offer much stability in the mouth for a speech during a game.

This type is similar to the Stock, except it does not include a strap. This option also comes pre-formed, but it must be softened in boiling water first. Players usually bite down on the guard until it cools and sets to their teeth. It fits more closely because of this extra step, unlike the Stock Mouthguard. A disadvantage is that you can only fit it once, so if it does not fit the first time correctly without needing adjustments, you will need a new mouthguard.

Boil and Bite mouthguards are also the same types of mouthguards that parents often buy for their children to wear.

Custom Mouthguard

Your dentist can make you a custom-fitted mouthguard from an impression of your teeth. Custom-fitted Mouthguards are often worn by high school, college, or professional players who play contact sports. It will fit snugly inside your mouth and prevent your upper or lower teeth from hitting together during contact sports. A custom-fitted mouthguard also provides good stability in the mouth for a speech during a game. The disadvantage of this type is that it can be expensive and will take several weeks to receive.

This guard is made from a mold of your teeth or face and is explicitly created for one player. It provides optimal protection because custom guards are molds of your teeth. This type of mouthguard is more expensive than the other options and needs to be molded by a dentist or dental technician.

This type of mouthguard will fit snugly in your mouth without being too bulky, but you also won’t have any problems with speech because it fits so well. It can even be fitted with attachments such as voice amplifiers, breathing valves, and dental retainers.

Professionally Fitted Mouthguard

The most protective and comfortable option, with a dentist or dental technician fitting your mouthguard to your teeth. This type of Mouthguard is custom-fitted for an individual player.

Many hockey players have their mouthguards professionally fitted. This means that a dentist or a dental technician will create a new guard for you using an impression of your teeth. You can choose from a variety of colors and types of material to fit the guard. You will also be able to choose any fitting such as a strap, dental retainers, and voice amplifiers.

The advantage of this option is that it provides the most protection against tooth loss, broken jaws, and other injuries because you get a close fit from the guard. It fits so well that you can even talk and breathe through your mouth easily.

One disadvantage of this type is the cost. It is more expensive than other Mouthguards, but your dentist may offer a discount if you tell them you play hockey. Another disadvantage is that it takes time to create, so it will take longer for you to receive this type of Mouthguard.

What Mouthguard is best for NHL Players?


In an NHL Hockey game, a player has to face heavy shots from different angles, and every time they have to come back on the ice. Many NHL players complain about their teeth or jaw injuries, forcing them to leave the game.

The mouthguard is a piece of protective equipment used by hockey, lacrosse, rugby, etc. It is designed especially to protect the jaw and teeth from getting damaged. If you are playing any game or doing any exercise, then Mouthguard is important for you.

Almost every NHL player who wears the piece of protective equipment uses a custom-made mouthguard, which is the finest. A dental specialist molds these mouthguards to the contour of a player’s teeth for a flawless fit and comfort.

These mouthguards are custom-made, and they do not have any size limit. These mouthguards also allow a player to breathe naturally. It is designed in such a way that it does not create problems for breathing. The custom-made mouthguards are usually made of high-quality plastic or carbon material, making them durable and strong. They also provide better performance against shock, stress, and injury.

Final Words

The mouthguard is not required for players to wear mouthguards during hockey games, but it is highly recommended. Mouthguards can prevent many types of injuries that can result in serious damage or even tooth loss. Wear the correct kind of mouthguard for your sport, and you are less likely to have any problems.

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