ODA: Don't Be a Victim of a Preventable Spring Injury...Wear a Mouthguard

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ohio Dental Association

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The sights and sounds of spring
 are all around us, the crack of little league bats, children rollerblading
 down sidewalks, teens gathering for sand volleyball and kids running up and
 down the fresh green soccer fields.  Whatever spring sporting activity
 children are enjoying, a mouthguard should be worn at all times to minimize
 the chance of injury.
     "Parents just need to remember to 'slip and slide' when it comes to
 protecting their children from head injuries," says Matthew Messina, D.D.S.,
 an ODA member and general dentist based in Berea, Ohio. "Slipping on a helmet
 and padding, and sliding in a mouthguard will significantly reduce a child's
 risk of mouth trauma."
     Mouthguards provide protection from a direct injury, such as a soccer ball
 hit to the head, or an indirect injury such as a fall.  Mouthguards are as
 necessary in recreational sports as they are in organized sports.  The
 American Dental Association (ADA) reports that over two million teeth are
 knocked out each year from sports-related injuries, and estimates that more
 than 200,000 injuries are prevented each year in high school and college
 athletics who use mouth and/or face guards.
     The ODA supports April as National Youth Sports Safety Month -- in school
 and recreational sports.  "New findings in sports dentistry show that even in
 non-contact sports such as gymnastics, mouthguards help protect children from
 injury.  Isn't it time to extend this same type of protection off school
 grounds?" Dr. Messina asks.
     The ADA also reports that mouthguards help prevent injury to the mouth,
 teeth, lips, cheek and tongue -- and can cushion the blow that might otherwise
 result in jaw fractures and/or concussion.  And while a mouthguard cannot
 wholly prevent injury, it can minimize it substantially.
     There's an economic factor as well -- the National Youth Sports Foundation
 for Safety reports that the cost of care for a fractured tooth is
 substantially higher than the cost of a custom mouthguard -- replanting a
 tooth and follow-up dental care is approximately $5,000, according to the
 foundation -- and that cost will be higher for more severe accidents.
     A mouthguard is a necessary piece of sports equipment/athletic gear, and
 should fit properly for maximum protection.  There are three basic types of
 mouthguards:  stock, which does not conform to the mouth but works well with
 braces; boil and bite, which forms to the shape of the user's mouth; or custom
 made from a dental office or laboratory.  The first two types of mouthguards
 are generally found at sporting goods stores.
     Properly fitted, the mouthguard should not impede speech or breathing. It
 should be tear resistant, comfortable and resilient.  The best fit will come
 from a custom-made mouthguard made in a dental office or laboratory, because
 it is formed to the shape of the individual's mouth and teeth.  However, the
 best mouthguard is the one in the mouth while participating in sports.
     It is recommended that boys and girls participating -- both in practice
 and actual play -- in the following sports (and any other contact/physical
 sport) especially should wear a mouthguard:
 
      Acrobatics    Football    Martial Arts    Skiing       Volleyball
      Basketball    Gymnastics  Racquetball     Skydiving    Water Polo
      Boxing        Handball    Rugby           Soccer       Weightlifting
      Cycling       Hockey      Shot Put        Squash       Wrestling
      Discus        Lacrosse    Skateboard      Surfing
 
     Similarly, parents should give thought to their child's casual play and
 recreational activities such as rollerblading, street hockey, and other such
 activities in which a mouthguard can prevent serious and/or permanent injury.
     The Ohio Dental Association has a video and program guide validating why
 young athletes should use mouthguards.  "Give Your Mouth a Sporting Chance" is
 an ideal venue for schools, communities, athletic associations throughout the
 state to use in their athletic programs.
     Parents are urged to stress to their children the importance of wearing
 mouthguards.  While the youngster's natural inclination may be to not wear it,
 knowledge is power and the following points may drive home the importance of
 this vital component of athletic gear:
 
     * For protection against injury ... parents and children should view
       together the video, "Give Your Mouth a Sporting Chance," and see
       firsthand the potential physical damage and injury that can occur.
     * Smile pretty ... the family dentist can provide additional
       substantiation -- not only speaking to the injury component, but the
       negative cosmetic impacts to the teeth.
     * No replacement value ... parents and coaches should stress to the
       student athletes that broken or avulsed teeth are not like a broken bone
       -- they do not heal or regrow.
     * For the team ... avoid official penalties of the team by a referee,
       especially when the mouthguard is a component of standard game gear
       and/or athletic equipment.
     * Practice makes perfect ... wearing the mouthguard during all forms of
       play, whether practice or actual game, makes putting the mouthguard in
       place second nature.
 
     To learn more about the ODA's mouthguard program, call (614) 486-2700. For
 information on other programs, call the ODA or visit their web site at
 www.oda.org .
 
 

SOURCE Ohio Dental Association
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The sights and sounds of spring
 are all around us, the crack of little league bats, children rollerblading
 down sidewalks, teens gathering for sand volleyball and kids running up and
 down the fresh green soccer fields.  Whatever spring sporting activity
 children are enjoying, a mouthguard should be worn at all times to minimize
 the chance of injury.
     "Parents just need to remember to 'slip and slide' when it comes to
 protecting their children from head injuries," says Matthew Messina, D.D.S.,
 an ODA member and general dentist based in Berea, Ohio. "Slipping on a helmet
 and padding, and sliding in a mouthguard will significantly reduce a child's
 risk of mouth trauma."
     Mouthguards provide protection from a direct injury, such as a soccer ball
 hit to the head, or an indirect injury such as a fall.  Mouthguards are as
 necessary in recreational sports as they are in organized sports.  The
 American Dental Association (ADA) reports that over two million teeth are
 knocked out each year from sports-related injuries, and estimates that more
 than 200,000 injuries are prevented each year in high school and college
 athletics who use mouth and/or face guards.
     The ODA supports April as National Youth Sports Safety Month -- in school
 and recreational sports.  "New findings in sports dentistry show that even in
 non-contact sports such as gymnastics, mouthguards help protect children from
 injury.  Isn't it time to extend this same type of protection off school
 grounds?" Dr. Messina asks.
     The ADA also reports that mouthguards help prevent injury to the mouth,
 teeth, lips, cheek and tongue -- and can cushion the blow that might otherwise
 result in jaw fractures and/or concussion.  And while a mouthguard cannot
 wholly prevent injury, it can minimize it substantially.
     There's an economic factor as well -- the National Youth Sports Foundation
 for Safety reports that the cost of care for a fractured tooth is
 substantially higher than the cost of a custom mouthguard -- replanting a
 tooth and follow-up dental care is approximately $5,000, according to the
 foundation -- and that cost will be higher for more severe accidents.
     A mouthguard is a necessary piece of sports equipment/athletic gear, and
 should fit properly for maximum protection.  There are three basic types of
 mouthguards:  stock, which does not conform to the mouth but works well with
 braces; boil and bite, which forms to the shape of the user's mouth; or custom
 made from a dental office or laboratory.  The first two types of mouthguards
 are generally found at sporting goods stores.
     Properly fitted, the mouthguard should not impede speech or breathing. It
 should be tear resistant, comfortable and resilient.  The best fit will come
 from a custom-made mouthguard made in a dental office or laboratory, because
 it is formed to the shape of the individual's mouth and teeth.  However, the
 best mouthguard is the one in the mouth while participating in sports.
     It is recommended that boys and girls participating -- both in practice
 and actual play -- in the following sports (and any other contact/physical
 sport) especially should wear a mouthguard:
 
      Acrobatics    Football    Martial Arts    Skiing       Volleyball
      Basketball    Gymnastics  Racquetball     Skydiving    Water Polo
      Boxing        Handball    Rugby           Soccer       Weightlifting
      Cycling       Hockey      Shot Put        Squash       Wrestling
      Discus        Lacrosse    Skateboard      Surfing
 
     Similarly, parents should give thought to their child's casual play and
 recreational activities such as rollerblading, street hockey, and other such
 activities in which a mouthguard can prevent serious and/or permanent injury.
     The Ohio Dental Association has a video and program guide validating why
 young athletes should use mouthguards.  "Give Your Mouth a Sporting Chance" is
 an ideal venue for schools, communities, athletic associations throughout the
 state to use in their athletic programs.
     Parents are urged to stress to their children the importance of wearing
 mouthguards.  While the youngster's natural inclination may be to not wear it,
 knowledge is power and the following points may drive home the importance of
 this vital component of athletic gear:
 
     * For protection against injury ... parents and children should view
       together the video, "Give Your Mouth a Sporting Chance," and see
       firsthand the potential physical damage and injury that can occur.
     * Smile pretty ... the family dentist can provide additional
       substantiation -- not only speaking to the injury component, but the
       negative cosmetic impacts to the teeth.
     * No replacement value ... parents and coaches should stress to the
       student athletes that broken or avulsed teeth are not like a broken bone
       -- they do not heal or regrow.
     * For the team ... avoid official penalties of the team by a referee,
       especially when the mouthguard is a component of standard game gear
       and/or athletic equipment.
     * Practice makes perfect ... wearing the mouthguard during all forms of
       play, whether practice or actual game, makes putting the mouthguard in
       place second nature.
 
     To learn more about the ODA's mouthguard program, call (614) 486-2700. For
 information on other programs, call the ODA or visit their web site at
 www.oda.org .
 
 SOURCE  Ohio Dental Association