NO MOUTHGUARD, NO PLAY!
The Australian Dental Association have teamed with Sports Medicine Australia and is asking sporting clubs to get parents to sign onto a new Mouthguard Policy that clearly sets out a parents obligation to understand that their child will not be playing sport without a mouthguard.
The policy says that Coaches and Managers will actively check all players for compliance and remove kids from training or games if the mouthguard isn't warn.
It's great idea as the use of fitted mouthguards has been shown to significantly reduce damage from injuries around the mouth. As a parent it can be fairly hard to keep reminding your children to wear their mouthguards so it would be great to have coaches and managers reinforcing your message!
Find the recommended policy on the ADA or Sports Medicine Australia's websites http://www.dentalhealthweek.com.au/downloads/ADASMA_mouthguardpolicy.pdf
Check out the damage a little knock can do! Poor AFL football player!
Download information sheets from the ADA web site
Next time you get a mouthguard made get a friend to hold your hand!
Actually what you need to do is get someone to apply pressure onto the central region of the palm of your hand. This has been shown to lessen the gag reflex. In a 2008 research article (Altering the Gag Reflex Via a Palm Pressure Point J Am Dent Assoc Oct 01, 2008; 139: 1365-1372.) the researcher reported that while it was known that acupunture to the ear or forearm can lessen the gagging reflex it is difficult to arrange this in a dental surgery. Based on finding from working with children with feeding delays a group of collegue students were tested with pressure to the palm of the hand and this was found more effective than a placebo, in making people less sensitive to stimuli that causes gagging.
Gagging is a really important reflex for protecting us from swallowing or breathing in unwanted substance. Some people are so sensitized that they can gag by just thinking about spoons etc. Try the pressure to the palm of the hand technique next time you get a mouthguard impression!
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Dr George Politis B.D.Sc (University of Melbourne) F.I.C.C.D.E.
Dr Khanh Nguyen B.D.Sc (Hons) (University of Queensland)