Hey Trainer!!! Do I Have To Wear A Mouthpiece?
My name is Jay Phillips and I am a Certified Athletic Trainer. I want to talk briefly about mouthpieces and why they should be worn. There have been numerous studies that have been done by the American Dental Association and the Academy of Sports Dentistry that reveals a reduction is oral/facial injuries when athletes use a mouthpiece. Equally the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) mandates the use of these devices in football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse and wrestling (for wrestlers wearing braces).
The NFHS States before there was a mandate for athletic wear of the mouthpiece, that 50% of football player injuries were facial/oral and since the mandate the number of occurrences has dropped to 1%. The TSSAA adopted resolutions in 2006 that mandates mouthpieces in all TSSAA contact sports. Mouthpieces should protect the entire biting surface of the teeth. It is widely acknowledged that mouthpieces should be properly fitted to the individual athlete and that the one size fits all is not always the best. An athlete should be able to speak if the mouthpiece is properly fitted.
So, the answer to the question of if a mouthpiece should be worn is a resounding yes! But, it is still up to the parent and student athlete to select the correct size and type of mouthpiece.