Sports-related Injuries

 

Sports-related Injuries

It’s that time of year! Football season is here! And the folks in the dental field know this all too well… not because our favorite team is 5-2, but because we are seeing more teens in the office as “emergency” patients. Now that school is back in and everyone is back to their organized sports, we urge parents and players to be aware of the injuries that can happen (and be avoided) while playing sports. Most recently, we have seen broken teeth and scratched lips from baseball and soccer injuries. We always ask “were you wearing a mouth guard?” and every time, the answer was “no”. This got me wondering…. If they are playing organized sports for school, aren’t they required to be worn? I made phone calls to 5 local high schools and found that the only sports that require mouth protection are football and wrestling! Considering the injuries we have seen, this was very surprising. I did a little more research into the regulations of the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) and found that the only mandated use of mouth protection are for football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling (only for wrestlers with braces). The Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) of the NFHS recommends that athletes consider use of a mouth guard for ANY sport that has the potential for oral-facial injury from body or playing apparatus (stick, ball, elbow, etc.). There is clear evidence that wearing a mouth guard can prevent most mouth injuries! A lot of people won’t think twice about buying the latest and greatest in athletic footwear, but will often overlook the importance of protecting their child’s teeth. Mouth guards come in a variety of styles and colors all in different price ranges. There are kinds that can be bought at local stores (boil and bite) and there are also kinds that your dentist can make for you right in the office. Mouth guards made in the dental office have often been referred to as superior because of their comfort, retention, and the wearer’s ability to breathe. There is a lot of information out there on the statistics of dental injuries sustained during sports, but we think it’s best to avoid being a statistic and remember to protect yourself and your teeth by wearing proper athletic mouth protection when participating in sports or activities that involve contact! If you are considering having a mouth guard professionally made, I will be happy to help 🙂
– Amanda