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Best Football Mouthguards For Youth & High School Players

Mouthguards are required to play football. NFL players can often be seeing all different types of mouthguards during the field of play.  

Mouthguards are worn mainly to protect your teeth. In contact sports, there’s a good chance you may bite down and knock a tooth loose. Mouthguards help lessen the impact on the teeth and jaw.  

In this article, we will show you the football mouthguards that NFL players wear on Sundays.

Mouthguards In Football

Mouthguards were first introduced into football around 1947. An excerpt from The Corinna Dental Group states that:  

Some years later, in 1947, Los Angeles dentist, Rodney O. Lilyquist, used transparent acrylic resin to form the first acrylic splint and the mouthguard was molded to fit over the upper and lower teeth which made it much less noticeable and more comfortable to wear. Basketball and football players began to wear this design which gave the mouthguard some exposure. Additionally, The Journal of American Dental Association picked up Lilyquist’s technique, which led to nationwide recognition.

During the 1950s, the American Dental Association (ADA) started researching mouth guards and promoting their public benefits. By 1960 the ADA recommended using latex mouth guards in all contact sports, and by 1962, all high school football players in the U.S. were required to wear the mouth guards.  

The NCAA (American College Basketball) followed suit in 1973 and made mouth guards mandatory. Since the promotion of mouthguards, the number of dental injuries has dramatically decreased.   Players in every sport (where there is a chance of contact) are often required to have a mouthpiece.

Why Do Football Players Wear Mouthguards?

First, to protect the teeth from any impact. At any point in a football game, a player may take a pretty good helmet on a helmet shot. Our bodies’ natural reaction is to clench down as we absorb contact.  

If we weren’t wearing a mouthguard, the impact would rattle through our teeth, almost certainly cracking or breaking off a piece!

Help To Decrease Concussions

Many believe that wearing a mouthguard will prevent concussions. There are arguments for both sides of this statement.

Relatable studies we found are from the British Journal of Sports Medicine and SISUguard, which state in their article here:

“As stated by the “Consensus statement on concussion in sport“, there is not enough quantitative, reproducible, or definitive data that can confidently suggest mouth guards can prevent concussions.   Studies aside, let’s take a look at it from a physics standpoint. Inside the skull, the brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid to cushion it from light impact. Concussions are caused when your head is hit so forcefully that your brain bounces against the inner walls of your skull.  

This results in chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. It’s whiplash for your brain.”

If a person sustains a powerful enough hit to where the brain actually moves within the cerebral fluid, no mouthguard (no matter how shock absorbing it claims to be) will successfully prevent that movement from occurring.

Although there is no direct link to concussions and mouthguards, it’s always better to protect your teeth and jaw rather than taking the risk. 

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here

What Mouth Guards Do NFL Players Wear?

NFL players wear brand named mouthguards such as Battle, Shock Doctor, and Nike. These mouth guards both have unique styles to them and protect the jaw/mouth area.  

NFL players aren’t mandated to wear mouth guards. Therefore they’re able to wear whatever they would like.  

Players like Odell Beckham Jr. signed a deal with Shock Doctor, one of the top mouthpiece players in the game.    

OBJ mouth piece

Players like D.K. Metcalf can be seen wearing a “binky” mouthguard that looks exactly like a baby’s pacifier.

This pacifier mouthpiece is made by one of the top football manufactures, Battle, and can be purchased here.  

Players have gotten creative with the companies they choose to partner with and the types of mouth guards they show off.  

DK metcalf mouth piece

Different Kinds Of Football Mouthguards

We’re going to research two types of mouth guards and how they best fit your style. These mouth guards can be worn either attached (meaning they’re connected to the helmet) or they will be detached (meaning they will have to be worn in the mouth at all times or stuck in the helmet when not being worn.

Attached Mouthguards

attached mouth piece

  An attached mouthguard is less stylish than the detached pieces we’re going to get into later in the article. However, there are some benefits to having an attached mouth guard; you’ll never lose it.  

Nothing is worse than running for a 40 yard gain, getting caught by the safety and your mouthguard falls out, and you can’t find it. You then have to come out of the game and get a new one or search around for yours.  

An attached mouth guard is the safest bet for not losing it.  


Detached mouthguards are now more than just protecting your teeth, but they’ve become a style point.  

Eric Dickerson, famous for his “binky style” mouthguard (and hard running style), has been brought back to the current age. Players are now using this thick mouthpiece, which protects the teeth and the lips, rather than the traditional style mouthguards.

The main difference between Eric’s mouthguards and the mouthguards we see today is that they are detached from the helmet.  

We break down our picks for the best mouthguards for both the price and effectiveness in saving your teeth!  

Best Mouthguards For 2021

Battle Oxygen Mouthguard (Attached)

Battle mouth guard

 The battle “oxygen” mouthguard allows for players to breathe through the middle of the mouthguard.

This small hole in the middle of the mouth guard allows players to breathe while they clench down on it. A major factor for skill players is to be able to breathe effectively during the play.  

Battle Predator Mouthguard (Detached)

battle mouth piece

The Battle Predator mouthguard is a detached mouthguard that has the “oxygen” hole built into it.

The packaging also has a “$5000” dental warranty on the box (with or without braces). Ensuring that this mouthguard is the real deal.

SISU Mouth Guard

sisu mouth piece

SISU is a big name in the mouthguard industry and protects all sports. It’s great for football because of the ventilation it has with the numerous holes throughout the material.

The slim custom fit makes it easier for players to talk and communicate while wearing it.   SISU mouthguards come in 15+ different colors.

Shock Doctor Mutant (Detached)

Shock doctor mouth guard

The Shock Doctor Mutant offers top and bottom teeth/lip support, works with braces, and requires no molding.

Players can just put it in their mouth and start playing. Shock Doctor also offers a $10,000 dental warranty.

Under Armour UA AirPro Football Mouth Guard

Under Armour mouth guard

The Under Armour AirLip Pro has is an attached mouth guard which sports the popular X over the lip protectors.

It also has a breathable hole that allows players to breathe freely while biting down: 100% Medical Grade Silicone, Latex Free Protection for lips, teeth, jaws, and gums.  

Related Questions

What Are Football Mouthguards Made Of?

Football mouthguards are often made out of thermoplastic material, which can be melted down and molded to fit your teeth. New mouthguards are made of polyurethane and laminated thermoplastic, which are seen in the newer mouth guards.  

Can I Wear Braces With A Mouthguard?

Yes. Many of the new mouthguards are made for braces and include a dental warranty if something happens to your teeth.  

Why Do Mouthguards Smell?

It’s important to take care of your mouthguard. Clean it after every practice and game to make sure no bacteria grow in the mouth or mouthguard.  

How Do I Mold A Mouthguard?

Molding a mouthguard requires boiling water and tongs to hold the mouthguard. Put the mouth guard in the boiling water for 15-30 seconds. Take the mouthguard out of the water and bite down on it immediately to mold the mouthguard to your teeth.