Irish Children Don’t Protect Teeth When Playing Sports

Four out of five children in Ireland may have dental problems at some point soon.

That’s because they don’t wear any kind of mouthguards while playing contact sports. There were 505 children questioned as part of this study. About 95 percent of the children ages 9 to 13 play a sport and about two-thirds play between one and three sports.

Only 22 percent of these children wore mouthguards, according to the Journal of the Irish Dental Association.

Among rugby players, 60 percent did wear some type of mouthguard. The problem stems from the fact that mouthguards aren’t required equipment in many of the leagues in Ireland.

Some of the other reasons that they aren’t worn by most young athletes in Ireland are the costs and lack of knowledge about the importance of mouthguards. As a result, 10 percent of the children had some type of dental injury in the last year and more than half of these problems impacted their teeth. Nearly three-quarters of these injuries necessitated some type of dentist to treat the injury within two hours after the injury occurs.

Mouthguards have been proven to lower the risk for dental injury. They also limit the force from a blow to the face that may otherwise result in other health problems.

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