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Sports and Protective Gear
Sports participation poses a significant risk for trauma. More than 3 million children and adolescents are injured annually while participating in sports in the United States. Approximately 25% to 30% of all sports injuries occur in youth involved in organized activities, whereas another 40% occur in youth playing unorganized sports, such as pick-up games.

Sports accidents account for 10% to 39% of all dental injuries, with the highest risk sports for oral trauma being baseball, soccer, football, basketball, and hockey. The risk for dental injury for American football players has been estimated at 10% per playing season. Skateboarding, rollerblading, and bicycling injuries are also common.

Mouth guard use is mandatory for football, ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, and boxing, and several states have passed regulations to mandate mouth guards for soccer, basketball, and wrestling.

Consider the following facts about mouth guard use:
 
1.
They help to protect the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth from injury. According to the American Dental Association, “An athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouth guard.”
 
2.
The better the fit, the more protection offered.
 
3.
Generally, a mouth guard covers only the upper teeth. However, adolescents undergoing orthodontic treatment are at increased risk for oral injury, especially to the soft tissues, and trauma may damage expensive brackets or fixtures. A dentist may recommend a custom-fit mouth guard to cover and protect both the upper and the lower teeth.
 
4.
Mouth guard use may reduce the risk or severity of a concussion.

 
 
More than 3 million children and adolescents in the United States are injured annually while participating in sports.
 
Sports accidents account for 10% to 39% of all dental injuries.
 
Orthodontic appliances increase the risk for oral injury, so a custom-fit mouth guard may be recommended.


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