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Canberra Today 13°/15° | Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Dentists call to make mouthguards mandatory in sport

THE ACT’s peak dentistry body is urging Canberra sport groups to make mouthguards mandatory this winter season to help protect their players against potentially serious dental injuries.

According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), sports related injuries account for almost 40 per cent of dental injuries, yet only 36 per cent of Australians wear a mouthguard when playing contact sport.

President of the ADA NSW/ACT Dr Michael Jonas says thousands of people every year are treated for dental injuries after playing sport.

“Dental trauma from a sporting injury can result in tooth nerve damage, fractured, cracked or knocked-out teeth, a broken jaw, and damage to the tongue and lips,” Dr Jonas said.

“Wearing a mouthguard custom-fitted by your dentist while both training and playing sport is an easy and safe way to help protect against these injuries. Not only does it help protect your teeth, it can help prevent jaw fractures, lacerations and other severe cuts and wounds too.

“ADA NSW/ACT urges all ACT sports clubs to register for our national branch’s ‘No Mouthguard, No Play’ policy, make mouthguards mandatory and help best protect their players this forthcoming winter sports season.”

Dr Jonas says self fitted, over-the-counter mouthguards, including what are commonly known as boil-and-bite mouthguards, should not be used.

“A mouthguard custom-fitted by your dentist is far superior to an over-the-counter mouthguard. It is specifically designed to fit the exact contours of your mouth, is resilient, balances your bite and allows speech and normal breathing.”

The ADA claim a mouthguard is cheaper than an injury, an implant to replace a knocked out front tooth can cost over $4500.

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Ian Meikle, editor

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