3 Reasons We Require You to Wear a Mouthguard When Sparring
August 6, 2019
Martial arts provide a fun and rewarding outlet for people of all ages, and they teach great life lessons in addition to self-defense techniques. More important is safety and keeping yourself safe while performing physical activities that have a high risk of injury. In particular, we're talking about sparring, and these are three reasons that you're required to wear a mouthguard while you do it.
To Prevent Injuries to the Lips and Gums
While taking a punch straight to the mouth is probably not something your mouthguard can help you avoid (for that, you'll want to work on blocking and dodging), it's still extremely important to wear the protective piece to prevent injury to your lips and gums. Most commonly, this manifests as your teeth abruptly and forcefully coming into contact with the inside of your mouth, leading to cuts on areas of contact that may even require stitches. You're also at risk of having bruised and bleeding gums or teeth without the barrier that a mouthguard provides.
To Prevent Injuries to the Teeth and Jaw
One of the most obvious ways a mouthguard protects you during sparring is by keeping your teeth in place. Without a mouthguard, your teeth are taking the full force of any blows directed at your face, making them far more likely to get knocked loose. That's a best-case scenario, too, as a cracked or broken tooth is a much more dire situation. Cracks or fractures in your teeth may get infected and cause further complications down the road, making immediate intervention by a dentist the key to keeping a healthy mouth. Mouthguards also help to keep the shape of your face in place, making you less likely to have your jaw broken while your teeth are wearing the guard.
To Prevent Knockouts
While getting knocked out might feel like a mark of shame for a fighter, looking foolish is the least of your worries. Essentially, a knockout happens when you get a concussion, and you should be well aware that a concussion is bad news. While it's incorrect to say that a mouthguard on its own will prevent you from getting knocked out, the mouth protection does help some in keeping your jaw and neck stable by providing a solid way to bite down when being hit. This, in turn, makes drastic head movements a bit less drastic, resulting in a lower chance that you'll be concussed and knocked out.
Sparring is a great way to practice technique and to build relationships with other fighters but only if you're smart about it. When sparring, remember your mouthguard and these three reasons why you should always wear it.