Mouth Guards and Concussions
While there is no scientific proof that mouth guards can prevent concussion,42 there is still agreement among many experts in the field that properly fitted mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment for kids participating in contact sports.13 Not only do mouth guards protect the teeth, there are still some people convinced that mouth guards can help to absorb some of the force the head and brain receive upon contact. Most mouth guards worn by young athletes are “boil and bite” guards. They are purchased at sporting good stores, heated up and provide some dentition to an athlete’s mouth. For better results, consult your dentist or orthodontist. They can custom build a mouth guard that provides even more protection while creating minimal interference with normal breathing and speaking.
The two mouth guards shown here were discovered after two athletes sustained season ending concussions. The first (left) was from a high school football player; the second (right) from a 7th grade football player. The coaches and parents of these athletes were unaware of the condition of the athletes’ mouth guards.