The unusual reason why Liverpool star Wataru Endo wears a gum shield during games
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 07, 2023 - 08:16AM
Wataru Endo was a summer arrival at Anfield (Picture: Getty)

Wataru Endo has been settling into life at following his somewhat in the .

Eyebrows were raised when ’s men given, on the face of it at least, he is not in keeping with the type of signings made by the German throughout his reign.

However, supporters have slowly been won around by the Japanese international – and his performances are not the only thing which have caused a surprise.

The Anfield faithful are only just getting used to the sight of Endo wearing a gum shield during games, something which would look more at home on a Japanese rugby player than a footballer.

Why does Wataru Endo wear a gum shield?

Endo has explained in his book, Duel, that he wears a mouthguard to give himself peace of mind during matches.

The ritual began in the 2020/21 season, when a dentist explained to him the risks of his teeth becoming loose.

Endo looks a little different during matches (Picture: Getty)

Speaking about his gum shield, Endo wrote in his book: ‘It’s become so important to me that I can say that I’m afraid to play soccer without it.’

‘I first started using it when I met a dentist named Jun Miyagawa who lives in Germany. Mr. Miyagawa explained to me that: ‘Even monkeys have beautiful teeth, it’s only humans who get their teeth loose,’ and that ‘Resetting the jaw joint to its proper position will improve both the mind and body.’

‘The most important point of a mouthpiece is to protect your teeth. Soccer is a contact sport, and although it is not as common as rugby or American football, it is possible for teeth to break due to impact, it happens often. My first goal was to prevent that.’

Endo has also revealed that, unlike athletes in other sports, he wears a gum shield on both his upper and lower jaws.

The mouthpiece has been personalised through a rigorous trial and error process, with the bite, jaw position and material all custom made to accommodate for the contours of his mouth.

Endo added: ‘I no longer have the fear of breaking my teeth, I started to be able to hit ‘1 vs. 1’ with all my might.

‘In addition, by continuing to be conscious of the position of my jaw it allows me to relax. It’s now an absolutely indispensable tool when I’m on the pitch.’

Endo’s Japanese teammate, Reo Hatate, also wears a gum shield to protect his teeth and to relax his face when playing for Celtic.

Follow Metro across our social channels, on Facebook, and

Share your views in the comments below