"No Mouthguard, No Play" winners have reason to smile

28 September 2015

Seven lucky schools and sporting clubs have been awarded prizes under the Australian Dental Association's (ADA) "No Mouthguard No Play" Mouthguard Policy Competition (Competition).

The ADA and Sports Medicine Australia recently announced the release of its joint Mouthguard Policy that outlines a commitment to "No Mouthguard, No Play". The Competition required schools and sporting clubs to sign up to and implement the Mouthguard Policy without exception. Clubs and school teams were also asked to send in a creative photo promoting mouthguard awareness.

Each of the winners received $1,000 to use towards sporting equipment for their school or sporting club.

Entries came from across Australia and from a range of sports including basketball, hockey, roller derby and rugby.

Dr Peter Alldritt, Chair of the ADA's Oral Health Committee, said "The ADA continues to advocate the need to regulate the use of mouthguards in sports, particularly contact sports or sports that have risks of inadvertent collision. Each year thousands of adults and children are treated for dental injuries that could have been prevented or minimised by simply wearing a mouthguard."

This Competition occurred during the month of August following Dental Health Week (DHW) which focused on sports and oral health.

Recent research conducted for DHW, commissioned by the ADA and conducted with 1,262 active Australians and parents of active children across Australia, showed that:
  • When it comes to mouthguard use, three in four (75%) active adults who do wear mouthguards wear uncertified, over-the-counter mouthguards, thinking their teeth are protected when playing sport.
  • One in two (53.3%) parents admit they let their children wear over-the-counter mouthguards as well.

"Not all mouthguards provide adequate protection, and in some cases, can cause even more damage," said Dr Alldritt. "We urge active adults and the parents of active children to visit their dentist before their next game and have a custom made mouthguard fitted -- the only type of mouthguard recommended by dentists.

Photos of the winners can be accessed here or via email request.