OAK BROOK, Illinois - December 12, 2017 - From football to hockey, many American children aren't using one of the most basic forms of protection from injuries – mouth guards – and at an alarming rate, according to a new survey out today from Delta Dental. The survey of U.S. parents finds that out of children participating in Fall and Winter sports, just 60 percent are wearing mouth guards.
Taking a closer look at mouth guard usage for some higher-impact sports, the survey shows that for football, just 32 percent of parents report their child wears a mouth guard, for field hockey, just 14 percent. Lacrosse and ice hockey both fall at 11 percent, alongside volleyball. The complete list can be found here.
"Something as simple as a mouth guard could be the difference between a safe sporting activity and a trip to the emergency room," said Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science and policy. "A conversation with your dentist, and a well-fitting mouth guard
A 10-year study of mouth and jaw injuries found that roughly 32 percent of facial trauma cases in children occurred during sports
There are three types of mouth guards:
According to the American Dental Association, the most effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resistant to tearing and resilient. A mouth guard should fit properly, be durable, easily cleaned and not restrict speech or breathing.
Delta Dental recommends children who play sports, and their parents, have a conversation with their dentist to see which mouth guard may be right for the child.