Just because a patient starts orthodontic treatment does not mean that he/she cannot participate in sports. However, wearing a mouth guard is an essential part of treatment while playing sports because mouth guards minimize sports related injuries to the jaw and mouth.
According to the American Association of Orthodontics
- Injuries can happen at any age or skill level – More than half of the seven million sports and recreation-related injuries that occur each year are sustained by youth between ages 5 and 24. *
- Collision and contact sports have higher injury rates. Baseball, soccer, basketball and football account for about 80% of all sports-related emergency room visits for children between 5 and 14 years of age.*
- Mouth guard use is very low – 67% of parents say their child does not wear a mouth guard – yet, 70% say their biggest fear when their child plays is that they will get hurt.**
- One out of every four (27%) parents say their child has sustained an injury during an organized sport resulting in a trip to the emergency room.**
- Most coaches and leagues are not advising the use of mouth guards – Of the parents whose children do not wear a mouth guard, 84% say it’s because the league or coach does not require it.**
- Hard hits occur no matter what the sport – The average high school baseball pitcher can throw a fast ball between 75-85 miles per hour. This compares to being hit in the mouth by a speeding car.***
- Cheerleading is one of the most dangerous sports, accounting for 65% of all injuries in high school girls’ athletics.****
- Children with braces need to wear mouth guards – One out of every three (31%) parents say their child has orthodontic treatment or braces while playing an organized sport.*
- Lacerations can occur if an orthodontic patient´s mouth is not properly protected.
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
** American Association of Orthodontists
If you play any type of sport be sure to let Dr. Meharg know. Franklin Square Orthodontics provides free mouth guards to our patients.