Sports are a fun way to stay active, but they can also risk injury when there’s a lack of proper equipment. As the weather gets warmer and spring sports start their seasons, it’s common to see an influx of hospital visits from patients who suffer an injury to their head, face, or mouth. We are currently midway through National Facial Protection month, an annual month-long campaign that encourages children and adults to take the necessary precautions to prevent sports injuries. While every sport requires proper equipment, some sports carry a higher risk of tooth injury than others. We’re listing out the riskiest sports for tooth injury and what you can do to prevent injuries from happening.
Although basketball is not a contact sport, it has the highest rate of dental injuries among all sports. According to statistics, more than one out of every ten basketball players will suffer dental damage during their season. This high number of injuries is due to the fact that basketball does not require any protection or padding. While mouthguards have become more popular over the years, many players refrain from using them because they believe that their breathing or communication may be affected. From our perspective, wearing a mouthguard is more comfortable than damaging blows to the mouth, resulting in losing teeth. At Ashley Dental Associates, we strongly encourage the use of mouthguards, even if your sport doesn’t require them.
There’s a reason why many cartoon depictions of hockey players are missing a tooth. Between the ice hockey rink, the equipment like hockey sticks and pucks, and the sport’s aggressive nature, many factors can lead to tooth injury, jaw fractures, and tooth loss. It has been reported that only about half of NHL players wear a mouthguard before heading out on the rink. Dental injuries can be both painful and costly, but you can avoid them by wearing a well-fitting mouthguard.
Based on it’s high-contact nature, it’s probably not too surprising that boxing is one of the riskiest sports for tooth injuries. However, it’s important to note that boxing does not have the highest rate of dental injuries because the use of a mouthguard is required. The most important way to prevent tooth injury while boxing is to practice good form (such as keeping your fists up to guard your face), and to ensure you have a custom-fitted mouthguard to offer the highest level of tooth protection.
Football is without a doubt one of the riskiest sports for tooth injury. It is a high contact sport with a mouthguard mandate, yet only 75% of football players comply. While helmets offer an essential protection level, they do not sufficiently protect you from possible tooth injuries. At the end of the day, spending $25 on a mouthguard is far less expensive than the average cost to repair the damage caused by a tooth injury. Sports are fun, but trips to the emergency room are not, so protect yourself by wearing a mouthguard, practicing proper technique, and wearing sufficient equipment.
If you have questions about the best ways to prevent tooth injury while playing sports or about the most effective mouth guards, contact us online or call us at (843) 767-2600. Our team at Ashley Dental can help recommend the most effective equipment to promote a healthy smile.