Mouthguards in Sports: A Necessary Piece of Equipment
School is going to start sooner than you think…and we are here to help you prepare. You take care of the paper school supplies and we will help out with the protection of those pearly whites!
Youth and adolescent sports participation has grown steadily over the years. It is estimated that 20 to 25 million youths participate in competitive sports. As a result of this growth in participation levels, incidence of injury has also increased. Some have reported sports to account for approximately 36% of all unintentional injuries to children and adolescents. Of those injuries, 10-20% of all sports related injuries are maxillofacial injuries according to the American Dental Association.
The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports dental injuries as the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. They contend that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard. Often times these injuries will result in permanent damage to oral structures which require medical intervention. This is why every year we offer mouthguards to new and existing patients at no cost to you. Contact the office to set up an appointment today! School is right around the corner.
The types of dental injuries that can occur without the use of a mouth guard are chipped or broken teeth, fractured crowns or bridgework, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth, fractured jaws, and concussions. Any athlete may be at risk for oral injury and any injury can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard.
Mouth guards are mandatory in collision sports such as football, hockey and boxing where the risk of injury is likely. Children and adults involved in incidental contact sports like basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer and volleyball may consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent injuries to the mouth.
A study of high school athletes found that seventy-five percent of injuries occurred when mouth guards were not worn and forty percent occurred during baseball and basketball. Nine percent of all athletes suffered some type of oral injury while another three percent reported a loss of consciousness. Fifty-six percent of all concussions were suffered when mouth guards were not worn. Trauma related to sports is more prevalent than previously reported.**
Selecting a Mouth Guard - There are three types of mouthguards:
- Ready-made or stock mouthguard
- Mouth-formed "boil and bite" mouthguard
- Custom-made mouthguard made by a dentist
- Don’t let your kids go back to school without a properly fitted mouthguard. Our service is complimentary for new and existing patients. Where else can you get this kind of school savings?
These mouthguards vary in price and comfort, yet all provide some protection. According to the American Dental Association, the most effective mouthguard should be comfortable, resistant to tearing, and resilient. A mouthguard should fit properly, be durable, easily cleaned, and not restrict speech or breathing.
It is important to remember damaged teeth do not grow back. Protect that perfect smile - wear a mouthguard. Take advantage of this school savings and be ready for all the activities that are planned for the school year. See you soon.
American Dental Association
**McNutt T, Shannon SW Jr, Wright, JT, Feinstein, RA. Oral Trauma in Adolescent Athletes: A Study of Mouth Protectors. Pediatr Dent 1989;11:209-13.