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J Am Dent Assoc. 1984 Jul;109(1):84-7.

Mouth protectors and sports team dentists. Bureau of Health Education and Audiovisual Services, Council on Dental Materials, Instruments, and Equipment.


A mouth protector must be easy to fabricate, comfortable, able to accommodate the needs of an individual's dentition, durable, easily held in place, and able to provide adequate protection to the teeth, jaws, and cranial structures. The thermoplastic mouth protector is recommended if it is to be placed or formed by the athlete; however, supervision of the fitting procedure by a dentist is recommended. The most desirable protector, however, is the custom-made mouth protector fabricated by a dentist from a thermoplastic material. With the custom-made protector, the dentist can optimize fit, comfort, and speech as well as tend to any control of form to the special dental requirements of the athlete. Thousands of football players have avoided oral injuries by wearing mouth protectors and faceguards. In other sports, dental safety still needs to be improved. National athletic organizations should be urged to require players to wear adequate mouth protectors. Dentists, health and physical education professionals, and other concerned persons should tell all athletes, patients, and parents, why mouth protectors are necessary and what types of protectors effectively reduce or minimize the incidence of injury. All organized sports teams should have their own team dentists to help ensure that players maintain the best possible oral health. If these actions are taken, fewer athletes will suffer the pain, inconvenience, and expense of unnecessary and frequently disfiguring oral injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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