Chiclets in hockey refer to teeth, in most cases the lack of teeth that hockey players tend to have.
The game of hockey is quite physical and some of that physical nature results in players having a certain look.
Black eyes, broken noses, and missing teeth have become somewhat of a caricature of what hockey players look like.
The act of losing teeth when playing hockey was termed spittin chiclets. In reference to spitting out some of your teeth onto the ice after loosing them.
This term gained even more popularity when one of the most popular podcasts in hockey named themselves after this term.
Hockey players have long had the image of missing teeth especially back in the olden days of the league.
Many players didn’t have the money or access to getting them fixed. With today’s nhl salaries these players can easily afford to fix them but often keeping missing chiclets in order to maintain the hockey player look.
I’ve heard from a friend that plays in the NHL that he has intentionally not fixed his missing tooth because it lets everyone know that he is a hockey player immediately upon seeing him smile.
How do hockey players lose their teeth?
Now that you know what chiclets are in hockey you may be wondering how exactly so many players end up with missing teeth.
High sticking is one of the most common reasons for losing a tooth in hockey.
In the NHL the vast majority of players wear visors meaning that the bottom half of their face is not protected.
When a stick comes up and hits a player in the face it can leave the teeth and mouth in bad shape.
Though most player wear mouth guards high sticks can still hit a tooth out or contact a player when they do not have the mouth guard in their mouth. This often results in players loosing teeth on the ice.
Another way to lose your chiclets in hockey is to get in a fight.
There is no real secret as to why hockey players loose teeth in fights. These players will square up take off their gloves and punch each other in the face until one of them hits the ground.
If a player lands a punch in their opponents mouth it is likely that a tooth or two may come loose.
It is also likely that the player that punched the tooth receives some damage to his hand.
Puck to the face
The final reason that you will find hockey players often don’t have teeth is due to getting hit by the puck.
As we stated earlier in professional leagues hockey players tend to wear a visor that only protects half of their face.
When a shot hits them in the mouth area there is no protection whatsoever.
The puck in hockey is a frozen piece of rubber that travels at incredibly high speeds. This sort of contact is more than enough to knock a few chiclets out of a hockey players mouth.
Furthermore these shots that catch players up high are often slap shots from the point making the shot that much harder.