Brits have lost 4.1 million teeth – due to sporting injuries, research has found. A poll of 2,000 adults found 16 percent have lost a tooth after falling or suffering an injury – amounting to a total of more than eight million teeth lost.
But nearly half of those suffered the mishap while playing sport – with football and boxing the most likely sporting activities to lead to tooth loss, followed by running and rugby.
The stats emerged in a poll by dental care provider, Bupa Dental Care, which also found 43 percent – or 1.7 million teeth – could have been saved if a mouth guard was worn while playing sport.
England national rugby team dentist, Anni Seaborne, said: “Getting injured while playing sports is common, particularly if you’re engaging in high-contact sports like rugby, football, or hockey.
“However, there are ways to protect against mouth injuries, and I would recommend anyone taking part in contact sports to wear protection.
“I’ve seen far too many of these injuries, and I know the pain and long-term damage that can be caused – it’s just not worth the risk.
“Players that don’t wear a mouthguard are at an increased risk of damaging their teeth during games.”
The study found that despite the staggering number of incidents, one in ten adults never wear a mouth guard when participating in sports.
And while a fifth do so for the likes of rugby or boxing, they wouldn’t consider wearing one for non-contact sports, like football.
Of those who are parents, just 19 percent said their children always wear a mouth guard.
It also emerged many are risking tooth damage with high consumption of sugary snacks and drinks, with one in 20 adults having at least one every day – and worryingly, this is also the case for three percent of children.
Bupa Dental Care’s Anni Seaborne added: “The sugars in sports drinks, bars, and energy gels increases the risk of tooth decay – so it’s always worth keeping track of your intake, and monitoring for any signs of potential decay.”
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