Reasons to wear a Mouthguard
Today, more athletes are wearing custom fit mouthguards for sports where oral-facial protection might not have been a consideration before. This phenomenon became quite evident then ever before. Yankee pitcher, Andy Pettitte, will never forget his near tragic injury on the mound. He now wears a clear custom fit mouthguard every game he pitches. Dodger outfielder, Manny Ramirez, is often seen flashing his custom designed mouthguards during close-ups of him on base.
Today, all states mandate the use of mouthguards during high school football, ice hockey, men.s lacrosse, field hockey, and amateur boxing.
It shouldn.t take a mandate to keep our athletes safe. The Academy for Sports Dentistry reports that 10% of all dental injuries are sports related. The risk is obvious in contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing where mouthguards are mandatory. However, there is insufficient awareness of the risks of dental injury in other contact sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and women.s lacrosse, where mouthguards may not be routinely worn. In fact, these are considered non-contact sports. This makes it alarming to learn that dental injuries often result from accidents during .non-contact. sports; such as:
- An elbow to the jaw during a rebound above the rim
- A wild pitch at the plate
- A bad hop on the field
- A collision between players
- An unexpected foot to the face during an attempted goal
- Or an aggressive spike over the net
1930- Boxers begin using mouthguards to protect their teeth and lips during fights.
1950- The American Dental Association begins promoting the use of mouthguards among athletes.
1973- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires players to wear mouthguards during games.
1989- Study by Mc Nutt (et. al.) found that 75% of oral-facial injuries occurred among athletes who did not wear a mouthguard.
1995- Study by Dr. Raymond Flanders found that in basketball, where mouthguards are not routinely worn, 34% of the injuries were oral-facial.
1995- American Dental Association emends its recommendations for oral-facial protection to include all sports participants who were at risk for injury.
1997- Study by Kumamoto (et. al.) finds that athletes learning to slam dunk a basketball while not wearing a mouthguard suffered sever dental injuries as a result of entangling their teeth in the net.
2004- A study at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY, investigated facial fractures sustained during the course of softball and baseball games over a twelve year period. Thirty-eight injured patients were identified. The majority of the injuries were caused by direct impact with the ball (68%), while player-to-player collisions (18%), and impact from a swung bat (13%) were responsible for the remaining injuries.
Currently- All states mandate the use of mouthguards during high school football, ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, field hockey, and amateur boxing.