The Ontario Dental Association encourages the use of mouthguards for many sports activities

February 28, 2014

TORONTO, ON – Is there such as thing as too much dental protection? Not according to the Ontario Dental Association (ODA), which urges parents and caregivers to ensure their children wear properly fitted mouthguards for a wide range of activities, from hockey and tobogganing, to football and rugby.

You may think that full face and head protection, such as hockey masks and helmets, offer enough protection. You may also think that recreational activities such as skating present a lower risk for dental injuries. Think again.

“It is possible to incur dental trauma to teeth, jaws and the temporomandibular joint by getting hit or falling on the chin or jaw,” says Dr. Rick Caldwell, President of the ODA. “A mouthguard is a piece of protective gear – like helmets, shin guards and shoulder pads – that can prevent more than just chipped or broken teeth.”

“Mouthguards can significantly reduce the risk of mouth injuries by acting as a cushion that absorbs the impact from a blow to the mouth or jaw,” adds Dr. Ian McConnachie, an Ottawa-based pediatric dentist and Past-President of the ODA. “A mouthguard also protects the soft tissues in and around your mouth, such as your tongue, lips and the lining of your cheek.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, sports accidents reportedly account for 10 to 39 percent of all dental injuries in children. These injuries are most often caused by direct hits with a hard object, such as a puck or ball, and player-to-player contact. Mouthguards are necessary in any sport or activity where there is a strong chance of contact with other participants or hard surfaces, including ice and turf – they are proven to reduce the incidence of dental injuries.

Mouthguards aren’t just for children – one of the most common causes of dental injury in adults, aged 18 to 50, is sports.

“Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard may make the difference between a minor injury and the damage and pain from severe dental trauma,” says Dr. Caldwell. “A little extra preparation can prevent costly and painful accidents.”

Talk to your dentist about the type of mouthguard that is right for your child – and you.

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For more information:

Catherine Perdue
Public Affairs & Communications

Bonnie Dean
Public Affairs & Communications
416-922-3900 x3314