BBC says physical sports lead to people losing teeth unnecessarily. While it may be difficult to prevent an accident when playing sports, regardless of country, athletes should protect their teeth.
A mouthguard is a common fixture in sports since it plays a vital role in protecting the teeth, lips and other parts of the mouth. More than that, it also helps in protecting against concussions. But not just any mouthguard will do.
A recent study published in the medical journal General Dentistry reported that to be effective against concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI), the mouthguard should be custom-made to fit the teeth of the user. Those who used over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were twice more likely to suffer injuries.
Study Involving 412 Athletes
Led by Dr. Jackson Winters, a paediatric dentist, a team of researchers carried out a clinical trial to determine the impact of mouthguards on the safety of football players. A total of 412 football players participated in the study.
Three teams of 220 players wore custom-fitted mouthguards while the remaining 192 players were asked to wear the standard OTC variety. All participants used the same type of helmet.
Fewer Injuries for Players Using Custom-made Mouthguards
The study concluded that 8.3 per cent of the athletes who wore OTC mouthguards experienced concussion/MTBI injuries. The rate of injury for those wearing custom-made mouthguards was more than a half lower at 3.6 per cent. Researchers pointed out that other factors made it impossible to protect the athlete from injury completely.
Significance of Study
According to Welcome Bay Dental Care, sports-related injuries in action sports and ball games are more common in the mouth. The outcome of the study supports the results of previous researches that show how important mouthguards are to athletes. But, more importantly, it demonstrates that to maximise safety, these mouthguards must be custom-made.
The benefits of protecting your child outweigh the cost of a custom-made mouthguard. Ask your dentist if your child needs dental mouthguards for sports.