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Sports and Protective Gear

Sports participation poses a significant risk for trauma.

The highest risk sports for oral trauma being baseball, soccer, football, basketball, and hockey.

Skateboarding, rollerblading, and bicycling injuries are also common.

Helmet and face masks should be properly fitted and worn during all games and practices for the sports in which they are recommended.

Statistically, children are more often injured in practice than during a game, so all protective gear should be worn during practice as well.

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

Facts About Mouth Guard Use

  • Mouth guards help to protect the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth from injury.
  • The better the fit, the more protection offered.
  • 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.

View the Chapter 10 Photo Gallery.