It’s that time of the year again. Your student will be headed back to the classroom and athletic endeavors in a few weeks for the coming school year. I’m sure everyone will remember school supplies, but let’s not forget a piece of safety equipment: A mouthguard for sports.
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.
Of course everyone should realize that mouthguards are standard in football. But we don’t always remember for other sports. One report notes that a mouthguard used by soccer players (football to those reading this outside the United States) not only helps protect teeth, but it helps mitgate the concussive effect when a player “heads” a ball.
So, how about basketball? Sure you need a mouthguard; it’s tough out there on the court. 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.
You can ask your dentist for advice and how best to protect your student-athlete.