Mouthguard use has been shown to reduce the risk of sport-related dental injuries
An ANSI/SAI standard exists for Athletic Mouth Protectors and Materials
The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Inter-professional Relations and the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs encourage patient education about the benefit of mouthguard use.
The ADA has taken an active stance since the mid 1990’s recognizing the preventive value of orofacial protectors, endorsing their use by those who engage in recreational and sports activities; and encouraging widespread use of orofacial protectors with proper fit, including mouthguards.
Both the ADA Council of Scientific Affairs and the Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations recognize that dental injuries are common in collision or contact sports and recreational activities.2 Numerous surveys of sports-related dental injuries have documented that participants of all ages, genders and skill levels are at risk of sustaining dental injuries in sporting activities, including organized and unorganized sports at both recreational and competitive levels. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, have inherent injury risks, dental injuries are also prevalent in non-contact activities and exercises, such as gymnastics and skating.
The Councils promote the importance of safety in maintaining oral health and the use of a properly fitted mouthguard as the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries. The Councils are committed to oral health promotion and injury prevention for sports participants.
It is necessary that mouthguards actually perform as required, i.e. to keep teeth safe. An important step was therefore the work of the ADA with ANSI/SAI in developing a standard for Athletic Mouth Protectors and Materials. However, as recently as 2009, a study of commercially available products found none that met current ANSI and SAI standards for impact attenuation.