Every year there are 600,000 emergency room visits each year due to sports-related dental injuries, yet only a handful of sports mandate athletic mouth guards. Sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse mandate mouth guards, but studies show that non-contact sports like basketball or skateboarding also see a fair amount of dental injuries. In fact, basketball has the highest number of dental injuries in all high school sports, completely outnumbering football.
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the International Academy of Sports Dentistry (IASD) recommend athletic mouthguards for the following sports:
Required or not, mouthguards are an essential piece of equipment for athletes who play sports with any type of contact. They may not be the sexiest thing in the world, but a toothless grin is definately worst. Next time you're dreading putting in your mouth guard, remember the old saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."