Your Role in Injury Prevention

It is far better to prevent injuries than deal with them after they occur. Anterior trauma can have life-long consequences affecting aesthetics, self-image, and pocketbook. Raising awareness and stressing prevention to parents of young children are important public health interventions. A trusted clinician is in a powerful position to provide prevention recommendations to patients.

When Do Most Injuries Occur & How Can They Be Prevented?

  • Most trauma occurs in soccer, football, baseball, and hockey. Injuries are also common in skateboarding, basketball, and bicycling.
  • A well-fitting mouth guard can decrease risk of injury and by separating the mandible from the base of the skull. Mouth guards may also reduce risk of cerebral and dental concussion.
  • Environmental measures such as putting corner protectors on furniture reduce risk for young children.

What Can Clinicians Do?

  • Recommend patients use a mouth guard. Any are good; however, the best are custom fitted.
  • A well fitting mouth guard is most likely to be used consistently.
  • Include review of mouth guards at adolescent well child checks and sports physicals.
  • Recommend removal of oral piercings before athletics when feasible.

References

Newsome PR, Tran DC, Cooke MS. The role of the mouth guard in the prevention of sports-related dental injuries: a review. International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry. 2001;11(6):396-404.

Glass RT, Wood CR, Bullard JW, Conrad RS. Possible disease transmission by contaminated mouth guards in two young football players. Gen Dent. 2007 Sep-Oct;55(5):436-40.

Saini R. Sports Dentistry. Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2011; 2(2): 129-131.