Players are susceptible to a variety of injuries without a mouthguard, from tooth fractures to more serious jaw and head trauma.
They also greatly lower their risk of suffering such injuries by donning a mouthguard that is properly fitted, allowing them to concentrate on giving their best effort.
And keeping that beautiful smile intact!
In this series of blogs, we’ll delve deeper into all things mouthguards in the GAA, examining various types, offering advice on how to pick the best one, and offering ideas for appropriate care and maintenance.
Read on for more.
Mouthguards in the GAA: Promoting Safety
The GAA has introduced a number of rules and regulations down through the years to help and improve safety for players.
For instance, hurling helmets were made compulsory around the same time as mouthguards too.
Hurling was a pretty bloody sport back in the day, and you can find out more about this in this blog on the History of Hurling!
The mandated use of mouthguards fosters a culture of player safety among the GAA community in addition to serving as a deterrent to potential injuries.
The GAA’s contribution to player safety goes beyond just enforcing the rules.
The group actively works with dentists, dental associations, and subject-matter specialists to spread the word and instruct players, coaches, and parents about the value of mouthguards.
Like a lot of things, the introduction got off to a slow start but now it is really encouraging to see how players and parents have really embraced the use of them.
The Benefits of using Mouthguards in the GAA
While playing Gaelic football, hurling, or camogie, wearing a mouthguard has many advantages that go beyond merely following the GAA’s regulations.
In order to protect players’ tooth health, avoid facial injuries, and improve general safety on the field, mouthguards are essential.
Let’s examine some of the main advantages of using mouthguards in GAA.
Protect your Teeth and Gums
The protective barrier that mouthguards create between the upper and lower teeth serves as a shield.
They efficiently disperse and absorb the pressures that can be generated during crashes or unintentional contact, reducing the possibility of dental injuries including broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth.
Additionally, mouthguards aid in preventing cuts or lacerations to the gums from hits or collisions.
Even though they shouldn’t be viewed as a sure-fire technique of preventing concussions, mouthguards can help to ensure player safety when used in conjunction with other preventative measures.
More confidence leading to better performance
On the pitch, athletes’ confidence may increase if they are confident in their protection.
Players may concentrate on their performance without unnecessarily worrying or being afraid of potential injuries when they feel safer and more protected.
Their general gameplay, decision-making, and capacity to fully immerse themselves in the sport can all benefit from this improved confidence.
Importance of Properly fitted mouthguards in the GAA
A mouthguard or gumshield will only work properly if it is fitted correctly.
Admittedly, wearing one that is not fitted correctly is still better than not wearing one at all.
But for the optimum protection, comfort and effectiveness, you need it fitted snug.
A mouthguard that is properly fitted will effectively cover and shield the teeth, gums, and jaw.
This ensures a consistent level of protection throughout the whole game or practice session and reduces the chance that the mouthguard may come off during play.
This snug fit aids in evenly distributing and absorbing impact forces, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma, jaw fractures, and dental injuries.
Comfort and Breathability
The comfort of the player depends on the mouthguard’s fit.
Uncomfortable, bulky mouthguards that restrict speech or breathing might cause distractions and worse than expected performance on the field.
On the other hand, a mouthguard that is properly fitted feels more comfortable and enables athletes to concentrate on their game without unneeded discomfort or interruptions.
It maintains its position firmly, enabling regular mouth movements for team members to communicate normally.
Reduced risk of mouthguard related injuries
Risks can arise from a mouthguard that doesn’t fit properly.
Too loose or bulky mouthguards run the risk of rubbing or irritating the soft tissues in the mouth, which can cause pain, ulcers, or sores.
Furthermore, if they come free during play, mouthguards might provide a choking hazard.
The risk of injury can be reduced for athletes by providing a suitable fit.
The usefulness of custom-made mouthguards over store-bought alternatives in preventing dental injuries, soft tissue injuries, and concussions is highlighted by study findings, underlining the significance of good fit for improved protection in rugby players.
Moulded Fitted Mouthguards
Customising mouthguards to a person’s needs is one of the benefits of having them properly fitted.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are made for each person’s mouth, taking into account things like teeth alignment, jaw structure, and bite pattern.
They are normally purchased from a dental practitioner.
Players are free to concentrate entirely on their game thanks to the greatest comfort and protection provided by this tailored fit.
Players can speak easier with these in, and the breathability is much better.
However, these are generally more expensive than a self-moulded mouthguard.
Don’t forget though, kids’ fittings may change overtime as they experience growth.
So regularly checking the fit of the mouthguard every few months is recommended.
To wrap up, mouthguards are now a huge part of the GAA.
If you don’t wear them, you face the risk of serious injury and being sent off in the match.
The benefits are huge and the evidence is all there to back it up.
We hope you enjoyed this blog and make sure to check out our selection of mouthguards below.
We have a lot more everyday wear for girls, so check them out HERE or below.
FOOTWEAR FOR BOYS
Good footwear is so important for boys covering a lot of ground!
It’s also essential to help support growing kids, with comfort being a crucial aspect.
These Nike Air Max INTRLK Lite are super easy, durable and versatile for all your boy’s needs, while the ASICS Patriot 13 Trainers are built with a durable design to handle kids’ everyday activities that span from the schoolyard to the playground.
Summer Camps are the absolute highlight of the season for parents and children, and that time of year is nearly upon us once again!
With so many options to choose from – FAI Summer Camps, GAA Camps, rugby camps, or whatever your child is into – finding the right camp that will help your child make new friends, enjoy new experiences and develop new skills, is easy.
So, while we’ll let you decide on what camp to send your kids to, we’ll do the hard work and help ensure they have everything they need to make their experience as fun and enjoyable as possible with our essential guide.
If you’re a parent new to summer camps, or a veteran, read on to make sure your kid is ready for what could be the best experience of their lives.
Summer Camps Backpack
Probably the most important item for your child’s summer camp week.
Well, it’s going to need to store all their essential items, which might include football boots, wet clothes, money, food and whatever else.
And don’t forget:
– kids get excited, so it will probably get its fair share of abuse. That means their current school bag might not fit the bill either!
So, consider these three key aspects:
Compartments: Multiple storage areas are the best. You want compartments big enough to fit clothes, shoes, a towel at the very least. Then smaller exterior pockets for essentials like money, hand sanitiser, sunscreen, tissues, mobile phone and charger.
Durability: a week at a summer camp will test even the toughest backpack, so one made of a sturdy fabric or nylon with tough zippers will make it through the week
Bottle holder: hydration is so important when kids are active in the sun all day, so you want to make their access to their water as easy as possible. An exterior bottle holder is a huge help
We don’t need reminding that a standard day in Ireland can experience four seasons of weather in a matter of hours.
So, while the forecast might predict sunshine for the week, don’t forget that the weather experts can often be wrong and it’s super important to be prepared for a washout.
Fail to prepare and all that.
A light, durable and waterproof jacket is an essential piece of clothing for the backpack.
Change of clothes
Speaking of clothing…
Even with a jacket, there’s no guarantee your child will stay clean and dry – kids will be kids!
So don’t forget to pack an extra set of clothing, plenty of socks and underwear and a spare towel, so if things do get a bit messy, you will have no concerns.
Your child will be clocking up quite the mileage throughout the week, so a comfy pair of running shoes is a must.
The likes of Nike, ASICS, Skechers and adidas have a wide variety of running shoes and trainers that will be able to handle the thrills and spills of an Irish summer camp.
It’s always a good idea to back two pairs as well!
Don’t forget these items either – you’ll thank us later!
Sun protection: the Factor 50 and a pair of sunglasses will help for the endless hours your child will spend in direct sunlight
Insect repellent: the midges love summer time, so either wipes, spray or an insect repellent wristband will save your child of stress
Toiletries: a basic first-aid kit, hand sanitizers and mask, tissues and wet wipes may all come in useful
Water: at least two bottles, and freeze one the night before so it can melt throughout the day. And try and avoid surgery drinks
Lunch and snacks: if the camp doesn’t provide food, high energy, nutritious bites that your child enjoys will keep them fuelled.
A plastic bag: this is crucial to put wet clothes or dirty shoes into
And don’t forget to label all your kids’ items too with permanent marker!
Conclusion Summer Camps Fun
We really hope this guide to Irish summer camps will give your child the best experience they can have and make the experience more relaxing and enjoyable for you too.
If we’ve let anything out that you think should be included, let us know in the comments section, we’d love to hear from you.
Make sure to check out our website to shop all things kids and ensure your child has everything they need for camp