Research Assistant, Kirikkale University, Turkey
Research assistant Merve AYDEMÄ°R ORDU: After graduating from Selcuk University Faculty of Dentistry, she started to the PhD education in KÄ±rÄ±kkale University Faculty Of Dentistry, Department Of Restorative Dentistry. She currently has several accepted publications and posters which are represented in international congresses about chemomechanical method and laser caries removal methods, contemporary classification of post-cores and full ceramic restorations. In this study, our aim is to evaluate the knowledge of athletes about mouthguards and to expand awareness about this issue.
Background: Traumatic dental injuries during sports may be prevented by the use of protective devices. Mouthguards are considered to be effective devices in buffering blows that might cause dental and maxillofacial injuries.
Aim: To determine the awareness of Turkish athletes about the benefits of mouthguards and their usage routine.
Material-method: This study is conducted to evaluate the level of knowledge about the benefits of mouthguard use of individuals engaged in sports as an amateur/professional. A total of 242 questionnaires were distributed. A face-to-face survey consisting of 10 questions was conducted. The data were analysed using the SPSS 21. Chi-square test Fisher-Freeman-Halton analysis was used for statistical evaluation of the questions.
Result: There was a significant difference between awareness about mouthguards and use of mouthguards (p<0.05): overall,218(90.1%) athletes were aware of mouthguards, but only 57(26.1%) wore them. Also, all of the 141(%58.2) athletes who have experience about mouth injury, only 48(%34) were using mouthguards. Although 120(%49.5) participants were trained in sports injuries, 76(%63) of them still do not use mouthguards. The reasons for not use were as follows: difficulty in breathing, nausea, economic difficulty, negative effects on concentration and performance, lack of knowledge and other reasons. The majority of the athletes(44%) do not use the mouth protectors because they think that their performance will decrease with concentration. In the answers given to the question of using mouthguards in sports branches, contact and martial sports had the highest score of 72% compared to other sports branches.
Conclusion: The study indicated that the majority of Turkish athletes agrees on the beneï¬ts of mouthguards but their knowledge about them is limited. Likewise, athletes do not use mouthguards and they do not have much information about mouthguards. It was concluded that the use of mouthguards during sport activities should be promoted in Turkey.