With the first hint of Autumnal chill in the air, our attention heads towards the traditional winter sports of football and more so netball for the girls. For a dentist that means the annual reminder for mouth guards.
In a previous blog post "Mouthguards a must!", we talked about that not all mouth guards were equal. Sure there are stock mouth guards and ‘boil-and-bite’ mouth guards widely available, but the best mouth guards are custom fitted by a dentist.
My experience with coaching local team sports is that the better the fit of the mouth guard, the more likely our athletes are to wear the mouth guard, and to also keep the mouth guard in their mouth during the match.
Often an overlooked aspect of trauma prevention amongst senior athletes is the presence of unerupted lower third molars. The presence of these wisdom teeth significantly weakens the lower jaw. On precise impact the lower jaw can easily fracture jaw. This was seen last year at AFL level at the Geelong Football Club (GFC). It has been my recommendation to the GFC and to senior local league athletes to strongly consider having all third molars extracted in the off-season.
And as a final tip, I can report that most dental injuries occur NOT in the actual match, but at training or practice matches. So don’t forget to wear your mouth guards at training.