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  • Mouthguard?

    Having done a faceplant more times that I would like to admit got me thinking. Does anyone wear any kind of mouthguard riding xc? Is it possible? Is it legal? Or would it be fraught with disaster?

  • #2
    I knew some teens who wore mouthguards hunting once their braces were removed.

    If you can stand to have one in your mouth, it's not the worst idea.

    You can get some really crazy custom ones from hockey suppliers.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


    • #3
      This might be dumb, but would it be a choking danger? You know how football/hockey players have them attached to the face cage, so they can't slip back in the throat... but you wouldn't have that with a standard skull cap. Just a thought.


      • #4
        The "get away" strap, however, COULD be adapted to attach to the side harness of the helmet.

        I always wanted to be able to talk to my horses on XC ("you got it, Flipper, there's THREE strides here"), cluck once at a fence, praise profusely. So I guess riders using them would need to school in them to get used to the breathing, and not being able to talk.
        What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


        • #5
          I wouldn't.

          I've had my braces off not to long, and I have retainers that I always take out, even when I'm going to go take his rug off - you never know, he could knock me down, and I could stack and swallow my bottom retainer.

          I don't think they're that necessary on XC. Very, when I use to play field hockey as a kid - my friend forgot hers one time, and ended up with a broken jaw, nose and fractured eye socket - by coincidence of course But I think if you do wear one when you normally don't, bad things happen


          • Original Poster

            I have no clue how a mouthguard works. But making it hard to talk may be a deal breaker! I yabber nonstop xc. Then again my horse might be grateful if I started wearing one

            Is there a choking possibility? Or is that what you mean by "get away strap?" I could not find anything in the rule book about mouthguards specifically.


            • #7
              I've been thinking about making my daughter wear one. She's 11, and just started eventing; when she's concentrating hard she sticks her tongue out of the side of her mouth. I'm afraid she'll get jumped a bit loose and bite her tongue hard.


              • #8
                There is also, strangely enough, a protective benefit from concussion when wearing a mouthguard. I think NFL players wear them even though they have face masks and I think one big reason is to reduce the risk of brain injury.. I don't know the mechanism, but I remember seeing a news report on it some time ago.


                • #9
                  I used to wear one for field hockey - you get used to talking and breathing with it. No straps on those, and I never heard of any choking incidents. They're molded to your teeth (you heat them up and fit them to your own mouth), so you really have to work to get one loose.

                  The straps are more to hold them in place so you don't lose them when you spit them out on the bench.

                  I SHOULD wear one when I play ice hockey, but I have a full face cage, so I usually don't worry about it. It's not just for tooth protection, though, the main reason to wear one is to prevent concussion. And I've hit the ice pretty hard a few times and wished I was wearing a mouthgard.


                  • #10
                    I think I would choke on it... I breathe pretty heavily on xc! It wouldn't be a bad idea if you couldn't choke on them. My dentist said (after I had a faceplant fall) that if I didn't have braces (at the time) a couple of my bottom teeth would have been knocked out. My teeth were pretty loose, but the braces acted as a kind of mouthguard.


                    • #11
                      I tried to ride in a mouth guard and I found it difficult. I talk to my horse to calm myself down when I'm jumping, it helps her focus on me... or so I'd like to think. I'd probably drool all over myself trying to talk with it in my mouth.

                      I'd like to add that I had wax to put on my braces when I had them. Really helped tone down the damage when I went face first over a horse and face planted.
                      To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
                      for we have not deserved it.
                      Marion Garretty


                      • #12
                        In high school, after an incident in which another player's braces got implanted into my forehead during a collision in a basketball game, we were all required to wear mouthguards. I didn't like the "boil and bite" ones you can get at the sporting goods store, so ended up getting a custom one from my dentist that was pretty similar to these
                        I wore it for softball and volleyball (I wasn't riding at the time) and never really had problems with breathing or drooling They were pretty firmly molded to your teeth...and were really too big to be able to swallow or choke on them. I've thought about wearing a mouthguard for riding after having to undergo some serious dental work after a fall...but I'd have to get a new mouthguard as I have no idea where that old one went!
                        ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                        www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/


                        • #13
                          Excellent and interesting thread!!

                          A novel idea and from a medical perspective an excellent one!

                          It is agreed that a CUSTOM FIT mouthguard by a dentist will "suck" to the teeth and is not the choking hazard the off the shelf "boil and bite" is.

                          You can certainly go with a boil and bite, just keep the molded strap attached, probably adding a short length of string to get it to the chin strap.

                          They DO NOT decrease the risk of concussion. The data is at best neutral.
                          It is clear they SIGNIFICANTLY reduce injuries and trauma to the teeth and mouth.

                          If you can swing it, my vote would be for the custom fit by the dentist.

                          Medical Mike
                          equestrian medical researcher


                          • Original Poster

                            Does anyone know of a rider who actually wears one? I am not sure I have enuf hootzpah to be the first one out there.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gryhrs View Post
                              Does anyone know of a rider who actually wears one? I am not sure I have enuf hootzpah to be the first one out there.
                              Everyone who played polocrosse seriously in my PC wore them... I *think* I remember a kid or two in the PC wearing them for XC too...
                              'Not all those who wander are lost.'


                              • #16
                                I know a teenager who wears one any time she's jumping, ever since an accident caused some major dental repairs- so yes, there's at least one wearing a mouthguard at events!


                                • #17
                                  I think it is completely up to the rider. There is no reason they wouldnt be allowed to wear one though. But to be honest if your flying at the ground face first, other then the fact that the last thing i'd be worrying about would be my teeth, second of all, i think that mouth guards are to protect your teeth from things potentially flying at your face, not your face flying at other things, aka the GROUND. Lol i just think for XC purposes, it wouldnt really do much help.

                                  Ow. I dont want to think about it. I like my teeth!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by GleeRider View Post
                                    I think it is completely up to the rider. There is no reason they wouldnt be allowed to wear one though. But to be honest if your flying at the ground face first, other then the fact that the last thing i'd be worrying about would be my teeth, second of all, i think that mouth guards are to protect your teeth from things potentially flying at your face, not your face flying at other things, aka the GROUND. Lol i just think for XC purposes, it wouldnt really do much help.

                                    Ow. I dont want to think about it. I like my teeth!
                                    Frankly: if I'm coming off a horse over the front shoulder where the vast majority of falls occur, I would definitely be worried about getting kicked in the face, hitting the ground or hitting the fence. Lots of things a mouthguard can't protect but it definitely offers added security. MedicalMike, are you sure about the concussion data. I have to say my source was a TV program but if the data is inconclusive they really biased the report. Hard to believe from all the "responsible" journalists out there!


                                    • #19
                                      Gryhrs - I'm willing to be guinea pig !

                                      I'm not going schooling for a little while, but I'm quite curious. I think I still have a boil and bite from my hockey days - I don't know if it's moulded or not. If it is, I'll have to get a new one, because my teeth are straight now !


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I don't exactly look like a hunter princess right now when I jump so not sure why I letting vainity get in the way of a safety experiment. Please let me know Mandalea how it goes! I have a checkup with my dentist soon and I may get one. wth.