MOUTH GUARDS – my opinion

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

On Jan 17 of this year medical experts meeting on concussions and brain related injuries in sport delivered a few surprise announcements. Some of these were reported out of context – so it is important before all your children remove their mouth guards that we take a minute and think about these comments in the context of scientific research. The way I see it there are three important statements that were made:

1. “Mouth guards do not prevent concussions.” This is of course absolutely true. A small piece of plastic could never be expected to PREVENT all concussions or even most of them.

2. “There is no scientific studies that show that mouth guards reduce the severity of concussions.” I spent my whole life in science and it frustrates me that so many people don’t get it correct. This statement doesn’t mean that mouth guards don’t reduce the severity of concussions – it is only a statement about the lack of large group comparative studies. 

3.” Mouth guards reduce the severity of dental or oralfacial injuries due to collisions.” Safe to say everyone gets that one!

So MY two cents worth.

In the spirit of science try this small experiment:

Put a mouth guard in your mouth and jump up and land without bending your knees – a minor collision with the ground.

NOW try it without a mouth guard.

After that EVERYONE WOULD CHOOSE TO WEAR A MOUTH GUARD!

The truth is that Timbits hit the ice both hard and in unexpected ways. In addition they often bump into other players or the boards often with their mouth open – a few of them have been seen laughing during practice (I HOPE!). It makes no sense to leave an  inexpensive piece of equipment with an obvious injury reducing potential out of their equipment bags.Apparently I can not force players to wear their mouth guards based on thiese comments  BUT as head Instructor for the NMHA IP2 Timbits I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL PLAYERS TO WEAR A PROTECTIVE MOUTH GUARD.

I WILL BE PUSHING TO HAVE THE NMHA REQUIRE ALL PLAYERS NEXT YEAR TO HAVE THEM IN AT ALL TIMES.

Guaranteeing a 100% safe environment is impossible. Guaranteeing that safe policies and procedures are followed is simple. Establish and follow safety guidelines, Wear protective equipment. Plan safe activities.Continually monitor all situations for  potential dangers.

I will always try to minimize the potential for any of the Timbits to be injured. As I am sure everyone knows I am kind of fond of them!!

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Comments
  1. stevie777587 says:

    http://www.biteadvantage.com/news/

    Not all mouth guards are the same. No research has been done to understand the benefits of neuromuscular mouth guards. Imbalances in bite can negatively effect the larger neck muscles that many experts agree, can directly effect hydrological pressure in the neck and cranium. Little if no research has been done to prove this theory. Just, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. The military is poised to study this. League of denial taught us one thing. We know nothing for sure.

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