Which Sport has the Highest Rate of Dental Injuries?

Keep your kids' teeth safe when they play sports!

Keep your kids’ teeth safe when they play sports!

When your kids play sports, you know they’re probably going to suffer an injury of some sort. And unfortunately, dental injuries can happen often.But which sport has the highest rate of dental injuries? The answer may surprise you.

The Sport with the Highest Rate of Dental Injuries

Because it is a high-contact sport, it would make sense that football would have the highest rate of dental injuries. However, mouth guards have been mandated for players at the high school and college level since 1962. Today, fewer than 2 percent of football injuries are to the mouth and face. Hockey, boxing, lacrosse and other high-contact sports have a similar mandate.So which sport has the highest rate of dental injuries?Basketball.The outcome of a nine-year study by the University of Southern California’s athletic department, published in 2007, found that there were 10 injuries per 100 athletes among men’s basketball players.Why?Only an estimated 76 percent of basketball players utilize the protection of mouth guards. This leads to a much higher possibility of painful and expensive dental and facial trauma.

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth

You don’t want to keep your kids from playing sports, including basketball, but you want to minimize the potential for injury as much as possible. So what can you do? There are several steps you can take to help prevent a sports-related injury, whether your child is out on the court or the field:
  • Ensure your child wears a mouth guard at all times during play. There are three different types of mouth guards:
    • Stock mouth guards, which are issues by the school and may fit poorly
    • “Boil-and-bite” mouth guards that offer a better fit, but are not always durable
    • Custom-fabricated bite guard that offers fit and durability
  • Ensure your child wears protective face gear, such as a helmet and/or face cage
If your child does sustain a dental injury, contact Dr. Garcia right away. Dr. Garcia has been providing families with gentle and experienced emergency dental care and cosmetic dentistry since 1983. He can restore and help protect your child’s wonderful smile.

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