Dentists' attitudes towards mouthguard protection

Pediatr Dent. 1999 Sep-Oct;21(6):340-6.


Purpose: This study analyzed the attitudes of Virginia general dentists, orthodontists, and pediatric dentists towards mouthguard protection.

Methods: Questionnaires were constructed and mailed to 2500 dentists in Virginia.

Results: In this survey, 97% of orthodontists, 84% of pediatric dentists, and 67% of general dentists recommended mouthguard protection for their athletically active patients. The two main reasons for not recommending mouthguards were that the patient could obtain one from a less expensive source than the dental office and the dentist had not received formal training on fabrication or use of mouthguards. More recent graduates were more likely to have been taught mouthguard use and fabrication during their dental training. General dentists (59%) and pediatric dentists (56%) recommended the custom mouthguard while orthodontists recommended the prefabricated stock type (77%) as their primary choice of mouthguard. A majority of general dentists (58%), orthodontists (81%), and pediatric dentists (76%) recommended mouthguard protection for the contact sport of basketball which presently is a non-mandated mouthguard sport.

Conclusion: Most dentists agree that athletically active patients require mouthguard protection. Many dentists, however, question whether they were the ones responsible for distributing and fabricating the mouthguards.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Dentists / psychology*
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data
  • Dentists, Women / psychology*
  • Dentists, Women / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth Protectors* / statistics & numerical data
  • Random Allocation
  • Virginia