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Since January 1, it has been mandatory for all GAA football players to wear gumshields during both training and games, and it is estimated that only about 20 per cent of players prior to this wore mouthguards on a regular basis.
As we all know, kids will be kids and they feel invincible. However, statistics tell us that one in four children do damage to their front teeth.
It is now compulsory for all people participating in contact sports to wear mouth guards/sports gum shields in both training and games. Some injuries to teeth from a clash of heads or a stray elbow can be quite horrific, with teeth broken, displaced, or completely knocked out. The majority of traumatic dental injuries occur to the upper front teeth in adults and children. A newly released dental document finds: “The use of properly fitting mouth guard can reduce the incidence of injuries to the teeth and surrounding tissues. A mouth guard should fit properly, adequately cover the teeth, and stay in position during impact.”
It is now compulsory for all people participating in contact sports to wear mouth guards/sports gum shields in both training and games.
All county football referees have been ordered to stop youngsters from playing immediately if they are not wearing a mouthguard.
Dr Evelien van Amerongen from the ISHSKO Centre, Westport urges coaches and parents to comply to the new mouthguards legislation.
At Abbeytrinity Dental Practice they regularly see dental injuries which would have been prevented by a mouthguard. Some are of an extreme nature and have a profound effect both dentally and financially.
In older children and adults, sports injuries are common. Dentists estimate that between 13 per cent and 39 per cent of dental injuries occur while playing sports. About 80 per cent of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too. Custom-fitting mouth guards are the best way of protecting teeth while playing sport. They act by absorbing energy from any blow and thus prevent (or at least vastly reduce) the chance of costly and painful dental injury.