It’s that time of the year again. Here’s my look at mouthguards now that basketball season is in full swing …
It’s time for hoops. All ages right now from colleges and the pros to high schools and youth programs are in basketball mode. Parents should make note of one safety issue: mouthguards are not required equipment for basketball players at all levels – especially for programs with younger players.
Football? Yes. But not for basketball … and it’s tough out there on the court.
The Journal of the American Dental Association has reported that up to four out of 10 dental injuries could be attributed to a sports activity and it can be easy to understand why high school football players are required to wear mouthguards. However, the basketball court might be considered an oasis compared to a running back getting a punishing hit by linebackers in football, but it’s a sense of false security as there are swinging elbows, jumping for rebounds and player collisions at a full-running speed on the court in every game.
Some previous studies have shown that basketball players (both boys and girls) are the most prone to injury – even over football, baseball and softball. Further, the JADA report noted that basketball players’ chances of orofacial injury increased sevenfold if the player was not using a mouthguard.
But it’s not just basketball that the experts say need protection for the mouth. The participants in these sports may not take the suggestion of a mouthguard very seriously, but the JADA group recommends such equipment in sports as diverse as surfing, gymnastics and even equestrian events.