Those who field hockey understand the risk of getting severe injury especially to the face.
Wearing a dentally fitted laminated mouthguard of at least 3 mm thickness can be useful in reducing impact force to the teeth, and is superior to over-the-counter mouthguards. Clenching while wearing a mouthguard can enhance the effectiveness of reducing impact force.
Mouthguard use is a key element to preventing or mitigating dentofacial trauma among field hockey players. Players participating in stick sports, such as field hockey, face an increased risk of trauma due to high-speed stick movement needed to hit the ball.
Field hockey players experience higher proportions of facial injuries (25% for males and 20% for females) than even ice hockey players, making mouthguard wearing highly recommended.
Dentofacial trauma poses a severe problem in field hockey and that a considerable number of players still do not regularly wear mouthguards even though the likelihood is that if mouthguard usage were higher, fewer dentofacial injuries would occur during games and in training.
After considering the limitations of the review, it is still safe to recommend mouthguards for the prevention of dentofacial injuries in field hockey players.
There appears to be much confusion or misinformation worldwide regarding mouthguards and their use in sports. To clarify where the international dental community stands on mouthguards and mouthguard research, Patterns of dentofacial trauma and mouthguard use in field hockey should be determined in further studies that control for the identified variables and confounders
Mouthguard design and construction should consist of the following:
- Coverage to the distal of the maxillary first permanent molar, with a thickness of 3mm labially, 3mm occlusal, and 2mm palatally. The thickness of these areas is strongly recommended.
- Occlusion should be bilateral and balanced.
- Participants in all sporting activities where there is a risk of trauma to the teeth and associated structures, such as rugby, football, kick boxing, taekwondo, boxing, basketball, ‘bat and ball’ sports such as ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse should wear dentally fitted laminated mouthguards. Mouthguards should be worn during training as well as during actual games or competition.