Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I never know what to do with my mouthguard.

After reading a post on rolling after oral surgery, this really has me thinking.

Since day 1, I've been fascinated by how people treat their mouthguards. I don't think there's any other element of potential contamination on the mat that is so directly and consistently internal. I'm a bit...let's call it hyper-aware...of what goes on with the mouth--I've cracked my share of teeth and have had my share of issues in the oral area.

When I'm sitting out and want to have an actual conversation, I never know where to put my mouthguard. I don't even want my hands on it. All I can think of is some nasty bit of fungus taking up residence in my mouth (thankfully you can't get ringworm in there). Do you put it on the mats? On the floor? On your shoes? There aren't a lot of options. There's one of my favorite blues that I've seen put it inside his shirt under his gi, to which my first thought was "eewwww" but honestly, it's probably the cleanest spot available if you need to take a break. I'd rather have my sweat in my mouth than everybody else's everything.

And that doesn't even touch on how you clean it after use...if it's being cleaned. I rinse mine and bathe it in Listerine after each's likely only harboring my germs (it's probably the only piece of BJJ equipment that can make that claim) but I still don't want them back in me after they've had time to marinate.

I haven't seen this discussed much, so I'd like to hear what everybody does with theirs.  


Georgette said...

I'm sorry... but I don't wear a mouthguard, and I know even commenting on this will guarantee that I break my head open tonight. Nonetheless...

I'm in the camp that thinks if you're doing things that put your teeth at risk of breakage there's something wrong. I don't open my mouth (much) while rolling; I have been known to bite my gi to prevent a choke, to hold on to it in transition for another move, etc. That's about the only time I open my mouth. I don't do MMA or any other kind of striking so I just avoid the issue altogether.

But-- I see some people bring the case for the mouthguard and set it near their spot on the mats, so that between rolls, it has a safe clean place to rest. Tucking it inside a rolled-up t shirt sleeve (on the outside of your bicep) is another option.

What is it you do while rolling that makes you feel like your teeth/mouth are at risk? Maybe I am missing something??

Laura said...

I tuck my mouthguard into my bra strap inside my rashguard under my gi with the flat side against my skin.

I've only ever needed the mouthguard for the accidental head kicks delivered by other groups rolling on a crowded mat.

Shark Girl said...

I ran to buy a mouthguard after I received a powerful heel to the teeth. My mouth was closed. I was scared for sure I was going to lose a front tooth. My overprotective parents used to give this reason as to why they kept me under lock and key: We trust you, it's everybody else we don't trust! So, I give that as my reason for having a (very expensive but worth it) mouthguard.
I can talk pretty well with mine in because it's custom and very slim. While I was waiting for my mouthguard to be made, I used a Shock Doctor. I kept it in my mouth at all times, but popped it off my teeth to talk.

Megan said...

@Georgette...My second time training, I took a knee to my closed mouth that I was POSITIVE broke out a canine. My upper incisors are reinforced with titanium, so there isn't much chance they're going anywhere...but they ended up that way after I fell, mouth closed, onto concrete. You can sustain some pretty serious dental damage with a blow to your lips. I seriously don't know why I never thought of bringing the case onto the mats.

@Laura, I think I'm going to start doing the same thing...inside the bra.

@Shark my Sock Doctor...just got a new one because, while my old one is still fine, I just like the idea of a new "clean" one periodically.

Tree Frog said...

I hold mine, usually with a forefinger and thumb in the less spit-tastic spots.

My thinking is that the instant I set it down, it's going to come into contact with something and it's not much exertion to hold, so I can chill for however long I need before going back in.

Otherwise, it's back into a case with mouthwash already in it and I'm walking off the mats.

Take care of your teeth, people. Dental surgery is expensive and an ounce of prevention is really cheap and easy to use here...

Liam H Wandi said...

@Georgette. Pls start wearing one. One of my friends wasn't wearing his and he was playing guard. I controlled his pants to pass, he pulled his legs away from my grip and knee himself in the mouth. I laughed so hard :D

I haven't seen him since.

As for where to keep the mouth guard, I keep the plastic case it came in at the edge of the mat. If I want to take it out to talk for an extended period, I just go fetch it.

Megan said...

Wait Liam...what do you mean you haven't seen him since? Was he that embarrassed?

Georgette said...

You all make a persuasive case for wearing one.

Aaron Bair said...

I wear one when rolling, I have caught several knees and had a couple busted lips. Vicious right!?

I usually tuck my mouth guard behind my ear. I don't know how sanitary that is-lol

Very interesting post

slideyfoot said...

I always wear a mouthguard. It cost me a £1: dental treatment is much, much more expensive. I'm surprised other people don't wear them, as stray knees and elbows are so common in grappling.

As to where I keep it, I have a case. When out of the case, if it's not in my mouth, I wedge it over a finger.

Afrorican said...

I'm with Aaron, I put it behind my ear. I think I saw some basketball players doing it or some other athletes on tv.