Effectiveness of the new mandatory mouthguard use and orodental injuries in Dutch field hockey
Physician and Sportsmedicine
Objectives Up to 68% of field hockey players have experienced at least one orodental injury in their sport career. Therefore, the Royal Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB) made mouthguard use mandatory for field hockey players during competition and training from August 2015 onwards. This study evaluates the effects of the new regulations on mouthguard use and the occurrence of injuries in Dutch field hockey. Methods A 35-item online questionnaire about mouthguard use and orodental injuries was sent to 13 field hockey clubs in the Netherlands. Absolute numbers and percentages of mouthguard ownership, mouthguard use, number and type of injuries were assessed. The results were related to comparable data before mandatory mouthguard use. Associations of gender and training frequency with the number of injuries were analysed with logistic regression. Results In total, 1169 hockey players were included in the study and almost all owned a mouthguard (females:99.6%, males:93.7%), which significantly increased after implementation (p < 0.001). 90.6% of the respondents wore a mouthguard during matches and 70.1% during training. Of the 1169 players, 68(5.8%) experienced at least one orodental injury after the implementation with a total of 100 injuries. Injuries happened more often during matches (63.2%) than during training (36.8%). Lip cuts account for most of the injuries, the number of broken (p = 0.116) and knocked out teeth (p = 0.026) decreased. Conclusion Although mouthguard use already increased in recent years, the new regulations led to an additional increase and a successful change of attitude towards mouthguard use. Most importantly, the severity of orodental injuries decreased measurable.