20 Mar March Madness & Mouth Protection
The madness of March is in full swing as the NCAA basketball teams go head to head to determine the national champion — and you know what that means: excitement, upsets, and kids and adults alike heading out to have fun on the courts themselves.
Getting involved in any athletic activity is a great way to stay fit and healthy. No matter what age you are, playing sports offers an excellent form of active entertainment and exercise. But sports can also pose a threat to your oral health.
What the Stats Say
According to studies, playing sports comes with the heightened risk of dental and orofacial injuries:
- Each year more than 5 million teeth are knocked out of their sockets as a result of trauma.
- Basketball, football, hockey, martial arts, and boxing have the highest tooth-injury risk.
- Soft-tissue lacerations are the most common mouth and face injuries that occur during sports activities.
- Dental trauma can include tooth fracture, tooth loss, or injury resulting in a loose tooth.
Protect Your Teeth with a Mouthguard
The added risk to your dental health doesn’t mean you or your loved ones should shy away from playing sports. There are protective measures you can take to dramatically reduce the chances of damaging your teeth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a mouthguard for all children and youth participating in any organized sports activities, including the following:
This recommendation is suitable for adults as well. In fact, according to the ADA, sports mouthguards have been shown to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries. Statistics show that the overall rate of an orofacial injury is 1.6 to 1.9 times higher when a mouthguard is not worn. And while basketball and baseball are two sports in which dental and facial trauma are relatively common, participants rarely wear protection. Fortunately, famous athletes like Stephen Curry and LeBron James are great examples of athletes who are rocking mouthguards and killing it on the court.
So before you test your skills on the court, consider the example they have set. Having a dental provider fit you with a mouthguard that is resilient, comfortable, and durable could mean the difference between keeping or losing your teeth in a sports-related incident.
If you would like more information on protecting your child’s teeth from sports related injuries, please call our office at 910-794-2266.
*Young, E., Macias, R., Stephens, L. Common Dental Injury Management in Athletes. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 2013;20(10):1-6.