Why Hockey Players Have Missing Teeth

By Alex Mercer

November 7, 2021

If you’re a hockey enthusiast or someone who watches hockey, you should know the one thing that unites all hockey players. Well, it’s the missing teeth. Have you ever wondered where those teeth go or why hockey players lose teeth? Let’s find out the answers.

Hockey players often are hit by hockey sticks while passing or striking the puck. Since the players do not prefer wearing a caged helmet, there is seemingly no protection on their faces. Mouthguards can protect the front teeth to a certain extent, but they also fall short when saving the inner teeth. This is why hockey players lose their teeth.

Losing teeth might sound scary to many. But for most hockey players, it is their badge of honor. To them, one can’t be a professional hockey player unless he has a couple of missing teeth.

How Hockey Players Lose Teeth

Hockey Players teeth
Via Wikipedia

In a sport where the players often get severe oral or head injuries, hockey is an experience for the hockey players to push the boundaries and challenges. It’s a wonder hockey is not listed popularly as an extreme or dangerous sport.


Hockey is much like football because there is a ball, and the player has to go to the goal post. However, what makes it different is the use of hockey sticks to move around the puck.

Usually, in hockey, the players run at high speed, so they collide with other players all the time. Besides, if they suddenly strike a goal, it might injure players around them.

Therefore, players’ speed and overall design of hockey make it a dangerous sport.

Hockey Stick

Although every sport has danger, using a different solid, long stick makes hockey extra hard to play. The use of hockey sticks might cause minor to severe injuries to anyone on the rink.

It is common for most pro players to have missing teeth, whereas concussions, muscle strains, shoulder dislocations, etc., can happen to any young or experienced player.

Why Do Hockey Players Lose Teeth?

Hockey, especially ice hockey, is a sport where losing teeth is a frequent phenomenon. Despite the health and safety regulations imposed by the authorities, many players skip the protection measures.

They avoid wearing a caged helmet or face shield during matches. This partly arises from their idea of valor and glory during the game. They often consider it prideful to play hockey barefaced.

Below are a few reasons why hockey players lose their teeth.

No Head Or Face Shield

Full-caged head or face shields are part of the safety measures of hockey. They protect the players from getting severe and direct bruises on the face.

Striking the puck at the goalpost with the stick is risky since other players around the striker might get hit with the stick and lose their teeth.

Not only striking but receiving the puck is yet another instance where they might risk getting hit in the face and losing teeth.

When the players throw the ball in the air to pass it, the one who receives it also has to uplift his stick, potentially injuring the players around him.

Limited Use Of Mouthguards

Most players like to play hockey with only mouthguards, a thin rubber-like layer to protect their front teeth. But the other parts of the teeth are often not secured by the guards.

Therefore, there’s a chance of losing teeth. Furthermore, because they are soft and rubbery, they cannot avoid every hit to the face.

Because the mouthguards are not that effective, players often end up losing teeth even with them. In NHL matches, for example, players are seen suffering injuries even with the guards on.

They also explain how in competitive and big games, mouthguards do little to protect them.

Protecting the inner teeth is another concern. Often, players are hit from the corner during striking.

Now, it is not hard to understand how a full-force strike hurts—after that, leaving the ground with intact teeth is a little unimaginative!

Pride or Valor Without Helmet

Most NHL players, especially the senior ones, would all unanimously agree on one thing. What is it, you ask? The players who lose teeth take pride in it.

This is nothing new. Sports are for people who like to take on challenges and everything that comes with them. However, most hockey players wouldn’t wear a protective helmet because they want to play unafraid.

Now, that freedom to play unbothered by a caged helmet comes with a cost. Players often lose more than a few teeth in the worst-case scenario. But they hardly mind it.

They associate it with their victory by talking about how many teeth they lose each season.

There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s achievement, but treating lost teeth as a “badge” is considered questionable by many.

Different Kinds Of Hockey

Different hockey types depend on the season and region. For example, ice hockey is the most popular type in most parts of the West, including North America and Europe.

However, there’s field hockey, rink hockey, or even bandy.

Among the different types, ice hockey and bandy are similar and the most dangerous ones. The surface is slippery and icy, so there is less grip and speed control.

Therefore, it is hard for the players to control their movements, which leads to more injuries.

Some players even tape their sticks for better grip on ice. That shows how injuries are more likely to happen in ice hockey than in other types.

Measures To Protect Teeth

Hockey players can protect their teeth by wearing safety gadgets and following measures prescribed by the authority.

Back in the day, losing a few teeth would bring rugged hockey players pride and honor. However, younger players nowadays are drifting away from that idea.

Young players concerned with safety show how they value their health more than the traditional concept of pride or honor.

Though this change is sneered at by some, it has also been welcomed by many. Young players now do not hesitate to wear full helmets and face shields, marking a new hockey era.

Full-Caged Helmet

Hockey players often wear a face shield along with a full-caged helmet to protect their teeth from the opponent’s stick. Their foam helmet covers their full head and fits them well.

In addition to the helmet, they also wear mouth guards to protect their front teeth from direct attacks by basketball sticks.

Therefore, the mouth guard protects, and the helmet works as a savior. Together, they form a great Achilles shield for the prominent athletes in the hockey rink!

Safety Measure

The players are asked to follow safety measures. Because the hockey stick is hard, it might cause severe injury to the teeth and other body parts.

Therefore, they are often fully equipped with arm and knee pads, jerseys, helmets, etc. All these safety measures can help them dodge injuries and tooth loss.


If you were wondering why hockey players lose teeth, I hope this article was able to help. People like to involve themselves in the most extreme sports because of the challenges and thrills within them. They consider the thrill important to living life to its full potential. This sentiment resembles hockey players and their toughness.

Too many hockey players, hockey is more than just a sport to earn fame and money. It’sIt’st thrills them in life, despite the risks that they’re taking from breaking teeth to severe bruises on their faces.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

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