Guard Your Mouth and Protect Your Smile


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The Ontario Dental Association recommends mouthguards for all sports activities

July 4, 2012

Toronto, ON — The warm weather, coupled with the end of the school year, means more time for children to participate in outdoor and recreational activities. Being active helps children get exercise and learn about teamwork but, without proper protection, it can also lead to dental injuries.

Sports-related injuries are one of the most common causes of dental injury in children. 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 ball, and player-to-player contact. But while some dental injuries are unavoidable, most can easily be prevented by wearing a properly fitted mouthguard.

“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,” says Dr. Arthur Worth, President of the Ontario Dental Association. “A mouthguard also protects the soft tissues in and around your mouth, such as your tongue, lips and the lining of your cheek.”


Mouthguards are necessary in any sport where there might be a strong chance of contact with other participants or hard surfaces. Players who participate in sports such as football, hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, rugby, gymnastics and martial arts should wear mouthguards when practicing or competing. Mouthguards are also a good idea for recreational activities such as skateboarding, in-line skating and cycling.

It is important to ensure that a mouthguard is properly fitted. “Each patient's very specific needs must be addressed for maximum comfort and protection,” says Dr. Worth. “A dentist will consider a number of
factors when fitting a patient for a mouthguard – the size of his or her mouth, bite, type of sport played and whether or not the patient wears braces or other appliances.”

Mouthguards aren’t just for children. The most common cause of traumatic dental injury in adults aged 18 to 50 is sports.

“A single blow to the mouth can result in injury, pain and sometimes months of treatment,” says Dr. Worth. “In any recreational activity, whether it's a full-contact sport or skateboarding at a park, a little preparation can prevent costly and painful mistakes.“

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

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Media contacts:

Courtney Sorger
ODA Public Affairs and Communications
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Bonnie Dean
ODA Public Affairs and Communications
416-922-3900, ext. 3314
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