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.


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.