September 13, 2016
Contact PDA: (717) 234-5941

Mouthguards Provide Vital Protection for Athletes

The weather is finally getting cooler, which means fall is close, but fall athletics seasons and activities are already in full swing. To protect the oral health of athletes of all ages during this season, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) continues to emphasize the importance of wearing mouthguards.

Mouthguards are an essential part of athletic gear that can help prevent serious facial and mouth injuries. It is more than just your teeth that are protected from trauma: your lips, tongue, cheeks, face and jaw also are cushioned from potential impact and injuries.

While the primary role of mouthguards is to protect the teeth and orofacial structures, wearing one might also reduce the chances of a concussion caused by a blow to the jaw. PDA member dentist, Dr. Andrew Gould of New Cumberland, has dedicated his career to providing athletes with a revolutionary mouthguard to help prevent concussions. 

For the past nine years, Dr. Gould has been the team dentist for both the Hershey Bears and Harrisburg Senators, helping to treat and find new ways to avoid mouth and facial injuries. He explained how some types of guards, such as one he uses called the Mahercor, can be more effective in protecting against trauma.

“Every guard is custom made and is digitally fabricated to the precise opening required for the athlete to mitigate against a concussion episode,” Dr. Gould said. “For nine years now, of the players wearing the lower Maher Guard, my athletes have only missed 19 games total due to concussions.” He compared this to these athletes missing an average of 80-90 games per year before these guards were implemented, confirming a significant difference.

Dr. Gould adds that the teams that have implemented this level of protection are seeing less concussions and facial injuries than they had before. 

Custom-made mouthguards are generally more expensive, but are proven to offer the best protection, comfort and fit. Discuss with your dentist which mouthguard option is best for you or your child. Remember, the cost of this simple form of protection is far less than the cost of the treatment of a sports-related dental injury.

About the Pennsylvania Dental Association
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. Learn more about PDA.