A prominent UK dentist has told BBC News that he believes everyone who plays a physical sport should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Dr Lyndon Meehan, who works for Dental Trauma UK says sports injuries are the biggest cause of adult tooth loss but a simple mouthguard would solve this problem.
Why are Sports Guards Necessary?
Mouthguards are necessary in sports of all levels because it offers a simple way to prevent a big loss: losing your teeth. Dr Meehan says people take their teeth for granted and it is only when we are faced with the realisation of losing one or more that we release how important they are.
A prime example of a sports guard’s necessity is a professional rugby player Dr Meehan worked with who decided to forgo using a sports guard because it was “too big and bulky.” Unfortunately, he was hit in the face while playing and lost his two front teeth at the root. He now faces a lifetime of dental treatment because he chose not to wear a mouthguard.
Custom Made Sports Guards
Dr Meehan recommends spending the extra money and visiting a dentist that creates custom made sports guards so you are guaranteed a comfortable fit. “I urge everyone – young and old – who plays sport to get a mouthguard made by their dentist. It could save you a lot of money and heartache in the future,” said Dr Meehan.
No Guard, No Play
Dr Meehan hopes that eventually it will be the case of “no guard, no play” across all British sport competitions – from school to professional levels. New Zealand Rugby changed their rules so referees could insist on compulsory sports guards across all levels and ages. There has already been a dramatic reduction in dental injuries in New Zealand rugby, and Dr Meehan hopes England is next.