Fall is on its way, children are back in school and in Texas, it’s football season. With everyone focused on school sports starting up again, we thought it would be a good time to remind parents the importance of protecting the face and mouth during these activities.

An issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) reported that 13-39% of all dental injuries are sport-related, with 2-18% of the injuries related to the maxillofacial.

Recent reports show that basketball players had the highest injury rate due to the fast pace of the game, collision with other players and the frequent hand/elbow contact.

As for other sports, studies also show that only 7% of soccer players wear mouthguards; the numbers do not vary much for baseball and softball. Football, which requires protective gear, has only about two-thirds of its athletes wearing the gear.

It is evident that there is a need for communication and education regarding sports dentistry. Wearing a mouthguard is essential when playing a contact sport and we should encourage our school athletes to do so.

If you find that you have questions regarding what precautions you can take for your student based on their activities, reach out to your local dentist and they should be happy to offer recommendations.