Players have always used some form of head protection over the years, from full backs to props. Helmets are usually made from light plastic materials which can take strong tackles, often used by front row forwards to prevent blows to the head and damage to their ears.The most important thing to remember if you want to wear head protection is to make sure it is comfortable - otherwise it will cause yourself unwanted pain and injury.
This is the most important piece of protective equipment a rugby player should own. The gum shield not only protects your teeth and gums during physical contact, it can reduce damage around the jaw and concussion. As every mouth is different, so every gum shield should be moulded to fit perfectly around the top half of a player's mouth.The best way of doing this is to go and see your dentist, who will ensure the shield is right for your mouth.
The other type of gum shield widely available are the "boil in the bag" variety which are moulded using hot water. Put the warm shield in your mouth and suck on it for about three minutes until it has moulded to the shape of your upper teeth.
Upper body protection:
Upper body protection has been a regular feature of the sport for the past 20 years. The areas vulnerable to injury are the shoulders and the chest, which often take much of the impact in tackles, so it's important these areas are well protected. Modern upper body protection is made from very strong and lightweight material. Again comfort is the most important factor when considering chest protection. Make sure it fits you well, otherwise it will be extremely uncomfortable on the field, as well as increasing your chance of picking up an injury.