Youth sports are so popular here in Castle Rock (and around the country), and all of us at Meadows Orthodontics think it is important for kids and their families to be aware of the benefits of wearing a sports mouth guard if they play a contact sport. If your child wishes to have a custom fit, professional quality sports guard, please contact our office – we will happily make one for them! Here are some items of interest and statistics regarding sports injuries.
- More than 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out every year, resulting in nearly 500 million dollars spent on replacing teeth.
- Up to 39% of all dental injuries are related to sports
- Sporting activities account for the greatest percentage of traumatic dental injuries in teens
- 50% of all children and teens will suffer at least one traumatic injury to a tooth by the time they graduate from high school
- Broken teeth and other oral related injuries account for more than 600,000 emergency room visits a year
- Sports related injuries account for 3 times more facial and dental injuries than violence or traffic accident
Now the good news!
- Athletes are 60 (!!!) times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. Mouth guards work amazingly well when worn!
- 80% of traumatic dental injuries occur to the top front teeth, which are usually covered by a mouth guard.
- An estimated 200,000 oral injuries are estimated to be prevented annually in the U.S. by wearing mouth guards
- Mouth guards help to prevent injuries to the teeth, lips, tongue and cheeks.
Can wearing a custom mouth guard help reduce the risk of sports related concussions? More peer- reviewed research is needed regarding this question, as some research has shown evidence that it does help, while other research is inconclusive. They certainly do not increase the risk, and if one is being worn to protect teeth, a side benefit may be reduced concussion risk. I will be watching for new, more conclusive research!
Dan Rejman D.D.S, M.S. is a board certified orthodontist in Castle Rock, Colorado. His children play sports in the area, and he has been instrumental with fitting their teams with custom mouth guards for years!