Now that the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup has officially been shifted into full gear, many people across the country and the rest of the world are going to be feeling the urge to get outside and kick the ball around. These facts have caused Nashville, TN dentist Dr. Fleming to wonder if this means there is going to be a fresh influx of patients needing dental care due to oral injuries.
Now you might be asking yourself what soccer and dentistry have to do with each other. You might also be thinking that it is kind of silly to assume people are going to hurt their mouths while playing soccer.
Well, you might actually be surprised. The truth is there’s a reason for our concern here at Dentistry of Nashville. Just take a look at some of these statistics.
Nearly 5 million teeth are avulsed (knocked out) each year. Many of these teeth are lost during sporting activities. These facts have resulted in an annual $500 million dollars spent each year replacing missing teeth.
Even more worrying is the fact that, according to an issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, a staggering 13-39% of all dental injuries, annually, are sports related in nature. The information that gave the results for this study was gathered from reviewing reported dental injuries from all over the world in the last thirty years.
But wait, there’s more. Yep, this isn’t even the worst part.
Let’s take a looks at American football for a second. American football is a sport in which the wearing of protective gear is mandatory. Statistics show that about 75% of players choose to wear mouth guards despite the fact that their helmets have protective face masks. Now, that’s not so bad. 75% is pretty decent. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.
Then there’s soccer. Beautiful rough and tumble soccer.
Soccer is a high contact sport which really has no uniform requirements for the use of protective gear. Only a staggering 7% of players choose to wear a mouthguard. There are no helmets or protective face masks in soccer either. Still, the vast majority of players do not even think about the safety of their teeth when they step onto the field.
Someone please tell us how this makes any sense.
Soccer players also often receive elbows to the mouth or have another player’s head accidentally smash into their mouth. All of these things can result in teeth being knocked out. Of course this is all in good sport and in the spirit of the game, however, this doesn’t make the threat to soccer player’s teeth any less grievous.
So what does Dr. Fleming suggest to all those soccer hungry fans that are dying to get outside and kick the ball around?
Just wear a mouthguard for goodness sake!
And remember to keep rooting for team USA!
Until next time readers, keep smiling.