Sports Injury Prevention
Participation in sports is an excellent way to maintain a level of fitness, learn to become a team player, and boost self-esteem and confidence. Unfortunately, all sports have an associated risk of injuries to the face and mouth due to falls and collisions.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has reported that an athlete is 60 times more likely to have an injury to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard. The ADA also reports that greater than 3.5 million children 14 years of age and younger are injured while playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
What does an athletic mouthguard do?
Mouthguards help cushion the teeth and mouth from traumatic injury for both adults and children. Often, mouthguards are required for youths playing contact sports such as football, boxing, hockey, and lacrosse. We see many dental injuries in patients participating in recreational and organized sports such as basketball, baseball, bicycling, gymnastics, martial arts, skateboarding, soccer, and volleyball and, therefore, encourage the use of a mouthguard for all these types of activities.
A mouthguard is a molded plastic material that is usually placed on the top teeth and acts like a shock absorber to help prevent injuries to the teeth and face. Just like helmets are worn to protect against injury, use of a mouthguard can help prevent injury or decrease the severity of the injury.
Should my child wear a mouthguard?
Being safe when participating in sports and recreational activities requires the proper protective equipment. If your child is participating in sports or activities where there is a risk of falls or contact with the head or face, it is recommended that a mouthguard be worn.