The American Dental Association estimates that about one-third of all dental injuries are sports-related. Youth playing in sports, even those that are not considered contact sports. Using a mouth guard is proven to reduce the risk of sport-related dental injuries, preventing over 200,000 of them every year. Mouth guards protect against chipping or breaking teeth, damaging dental work like crowns or bridgework, injuring lips or cheeks, and fracturing the jaw.
All athletes playing a sport should wear a mouth guard, but you should be especially cautious when playing contact sports like football, hockey, or boxing. Mouth guards should also be worn when playing a sport where another athlete or ball could hit you in the face, like basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, or wrestling. There are several types of mouth guards available, but a custom mouth guard made by your dentist will provide the most comfort and protection.
American Dental Association, Policy Statement on Orofacial Protectors. Transactions; 1995. p. 613.
ADA Council on Access P, Interprofessional R, Affairs ADACoS. Using mouthguards to reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related oral injuries. J Am Dent Assoc 2006;137(12):1712-20.