Coaches, parents, and athletes are encouraged to follow the recommendation of the AAE and their dentist or endodontist to wear a custom fit mouth guard during play.
As the weather cools and the changing leaves create a kaleidoscope of warm colors across the landscape, many welcome the onset of fall. The season marks the beginning of crisp mornings and cool nights, holiday and harvest celebrations, and the welcome return of fall sports. Football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and more begin again as students return to school for the fall and winter season. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) estimates that there are nearly 7.8 million high school athletes in the United States – a number that has increased for the past 25 consecutive years. Additionally, the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) reports that over 460,000 of these students go on to participate in college sports. In addition to the athletes themselves, there are a large number of experts who support the teams including coaches, equipment managers, and medical personnel who work together to provide the athletes the support they need to excel. Coaches and athletes work closely with training and medical personnel and a diverse array of supportive associations to implement proper training, safety, and protective measures during practice and play. For example, the American Academy of Endodontics (AAE)m recently released a position statement on the use of protective mouth guards to prevent athletic injuries.
The AAE Position Statement
The AAE sites the frequent and serious nature of dental injuries as the reason for releasing the statement. They state that oral impact injuries often require endodontic treatment but can help be prevented by the use of properly fitted mouth guards. The most common type of mouth guard used by student athletes is the generic kind that can be purchased at a sporting goods store or pharmacy. These varieties may or may not be customized to the wearer’s bite. Those that are use a crude “boil and bite” method that provides a small amount of customization but do not provide extensive coverage or protection for all of the posterior teeth. This exposes the athlete to the risk of dental injury.
Protecting Young Athletes
The AAE aims to educate athletes and coaches on the need for professionally fitted mouth guards that provide a higher level of protection and better fit. Custom mouth guards use a more sophisticated material that is more comfortable and durable than the generic ones. Athletes are encouraged to speak with their dentist or endodontist about ordering a custom mouth guard. Additionally, the AAE recommends that coaches and associations related to children’s sports educate parents and athletes on the benefits of professional custom mouth guards and encourage or require participants to use them. This will help prevent and reduce the number of painful and costly oral injuries that occur each year during sports participation.
Parents, coaches, and athletes can learn more about custom mouth guards by speaking with their dentist or endodontist and by visiting the AAE guidelines online.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes in treating issues within and around the roots of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comercia Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.