The Importance of Mouth Guards

All student athletes require mouth guards when playing contact sports. We also see professional athletes using mouth guards on TV (basketball, football, boxing, etc.) However, most of us assume that if we’re playing sports recreationally, it’s not necessary to wear a mouth guard because it’s not as high intensity as playing professionally. If you play contact sports in a league, club, for fun, at your local recreation center, or even in the yard with your family and friends – you should always wear a mouth guard.

One out of ten athletes will have a dental related injury every season. Over 60% of dental injuries occur in un-organized sports. It’s almost less likely to get hit during organized sports because everyone is trained to play the sport in an organized manner. All it takes is an elbow to the mouth, or getting hit with a ball on your face to knock your teeth loose and potentially damage and/or weaken your teeth permanently.

Here are a few other statistics:

  1. Studies consistently show that sports related injuries that occur when a mouth guard isn’t worn usually end up needing professionally intervention either at an emergency room or a dentist or surgeon.
  2. Children between 7-10 are most prone to dental injuries while playing sports most likely due to underdeveloped coordination and a wide variety of player strengths and skill sets.
  3. Throughout an average athletic career, the chances of sustaining a dental or mouth injury are over 30%. This includes non-professional athletic careers.
  4. Basketball, football and hockey are the top three most dental injury prone sports especially when mouth guards are not used.
  5. Dental injuries are also seen in non-contact sports such as gymnastics or skating. If you play any sports that require speed or power, even if it’s not a team or contact sport, you should wear a mouth guard just in case.

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating patients with dental injuries, and other dental ailments for over twenty-five years. If you have any questions or suffer a dental injury, call our office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.