Mouthguards and Sports
Knowing how to prevent injuries is important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.
When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of an athlete’s standard quipment from an early age. In fact, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouthguard.
What kinds of injuries can a mouthguard prevent?
- Broken teeth
- Teeth getting knocked out
- Cuts and bruises to lips, cheeks and chin
- Concussions and brain damage
- Jaw dislocation
- Jaw fracture
- Permanent injury to the jaw joint
Mouthguards are used most commonly in contact sports, such as boxing, football, hockey and lacrosse, but findings show that even in noncontact sports like basketball, gymnastics or skateboarding, mouthguards help prevent mouth and jaw injuries.
While everyone thinks about contact sports like ice hockey, football and lacrosse for mouthguard use, basketball, skateboarding, bicycling, wrestling and baseball are all activities that can result in tooth injury. In fact, soccer and basketball players are more likely than football players to sustain an injury to the mouth and face.
Children between the ages of 7-10 have the highest number of injuries in unorganized sporting accidents with basketball causing the most of these injures followed by biking and hockey.
Mouthguards prevent between 100,000 – 200,000 oral injuries per year in professional football alone.
Half of all children will suffer a traumatic injury to a tooth by the time they graduate high school ranging from a minor chip to having a tooth knocked out of a socket.
More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year resulting in nearly $500 million spent on replacing these teeth.
Upper front teeth are the most commonly injured tooth.
A stock mouthguard costs about $15, a custom one between $75 and 120. The cost of replacing a single tooth can cost up the $4000 and may cost more than $25,000 over a lifetime with maintenance.
Skiing, bicycling and soccer are the three most frequent causes of sports accidents.
Sports related injuries account for 3 times more facial and dental injuries that violence or traffic accidents.
The Academy of General Dentistry recomments that players participating in basketball, softball, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, inline skating and martial arts, whether for an ahtletic competition or leisure activity, wear mouthgaurds while competing.
To find out more information visit Dr. Sam Romano’s website at www.drsamromano.com