Mouthguards are a must – at training and during the game

28 March 2017

With pre-season football training now underway, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is urging parents to get their kid’s mouthguard checked to ensure it still fits.

“Contact sports, such as football, rugby, soccer and hockey pose a high risk of dental injury,” states Professor David Manton, Chair of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee.

“The ADA urges parents to make sure mouthguards are custom-made and checked regularly by a dentist to make sure they fit correctly. We also need parents to understand that the risk of injury is just as great during training, so mouthguards should be worn during both training and games.”

The ADA recommends a mouthguard which is correctly designed and custom-made, as these have been shown to reduce the consequences of oral trauma.

“Custom-made mouthguards are moulded specifically to the player’s teeth and provide the best way to minimise damage when collisions – inadvertent or otherwise – occur”, Professor Manton continued.

In the case of a collision where players sustain injuries to the mouth, the ADA website provides advice on the crucial steps coaches, support staff and players can take to maximise the chance damaged teeth can be saved.

The ADA has joined forces with Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) to ask sporting clubs to commit to a Mouthguard Policy which mandates a ‘No Mouthguard, No Play’ rule for those who play high risk collision sports – whether at training or at the game itself.

Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) is also using the start of the football season as an opportunity to call on all sporting clubs and schools nationwide to adopt a ‘No Mouthguard No Play’ policy. A template policy is available from both the ADA and SMA websites.

CEO of Sports Medicine Australia, Anthony Merrilees said “Injuries to the face and mouth occur regularly in all types of sports, including in practice and training. A custom-fitted mouthguard is an effective injury prevention measure that a sports participant can utilise to prevent injury or reduce the severity of injury. We urge all players to wear one, and all sporting clubs and schools to educate their players on the benefits of a custom-fitted mouthguard and to support the ‘No Mouthguard, No Play’ policy”.
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