We hope every dentist in Perth and across Australia was paying attention to a recent joint media release from the Australian Dental Association (ADA) and Sports Medicine Australia (SMA). The organisations came together to draft a joint Mouthguard Policy for sports clubs and athletes.
The Mouthguard Policy is available on both the SMA and the ADA websites. It outlines a system that can help prevent or greatly reduce sports related dental trauma. Mouthguard awareness is also one of the issues being highlighted during the Dental Health Week 2015, celebrated on 3-9 August 2015.
According to the chair of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, Dr Peter Alldritt: “Every year, thousands of people are treated for dental injuries that could have been avoided by wearing a protective, custom-fitted mouthguard.”
Research from both organisations has proven that a mouthguard can help mitigate a blow to the face by absorbing and spreading the force of impact. This can prevent injuries that would otherwise be sustained by the jaw or teeth.
Both organisations see this as important because this type of injury can cause temporary or permanent disfigurement and the recovery time can require time off from work, resulting in loss of income due to complex and costly dental treatment. The price of a mouthguard is small compared to the cost and damage of an injury to the jaw or teeth.
The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine completed a study on the Gold Coast of junior league rugby players. 53.8% reported a facial or dental injury while playing rugby. 90% of the coaches polled said at least one of their players had sustained facial or dental injury. 41.4% of the coaches said this had occurred more than five times.
While 93.8% of coaches said they “encouraged” the use of mouthguards, only 68.2% of players wore mouthguards during games and almost none used them in training.
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And for more information about the Dental Health Week, visit: http://www.dentalhealthweek.com.au/