Prevention of Traumatic Dental Injuries

  • Rebecca L. Slayton
  • Elizabeth A. Palmer


Although traumatic dental injuries are not completely preventable, there are a number of ways that the risk can be minimized. For young children, child-proofing the home decreases the risk of falls and injury. For older children who participate in sports, the use of protective gear-like mouthguards and helmets has been shown to be effective at minimizing traumatic injuries. Caregivers, teachers, health care providers, and anyone who interacts with children and adolescents have a responsibility to promote activities that prevent injuries. Education about how to decrease risks and manage traumatic injuries and in some cases, regulations to support these activities should be endorsed by all health care providers.


Dental trauma Pediatric Prevention Adolescent Child abuse Mouthguards Helmets Trauma guidelines 


  1. 1.
    American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Periodicity of examination, preventive dental services, anticipatory guidance/counseling, and oral treatment for infants, children, and adolescents. AAPD Reference Manual, Vol. 40; 2018. p. 194–203. Accessed 5/11/2019.
  2. 2.
    Fernandes LM, Neto JCL, Lima TFR, Magno MB, Santiago BM, Cavalcanti YW, de Almeida LFD. The use of mouthguards and prevalence of dento-alveolar trauma among athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Dent Traumatol. 2018;.
  3. 3.
    Collins CL, McKenzie LB, Ferketich RA, Huiyun X, Comstock RD. Dental injuries sustained by high school athletes in the United States, from 2008/2009 through 2013/2014 academic years. Dent Traumatol. 2016;32:121–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Parker K, Marlow B, Patel N, Gill DS. A review of mouthguards: effectiveness, types, characteristics and indications for use. Br Dent J. 2017;222:629–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kroon J, Cox JA, Knight JE, Nevins PN, Kong WW. Mouthguard use and awareness of junior rugby league players in the gold coast, Australia: a need for more education. Clin J Sport Med. 2016;26:128–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Spinas E, Aresu M, Giannetti L. Use of mouth guard in basketball: observational study of a group of teenagers with and without motivational reinforcement. Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2014;15:392–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Biagi R, Cardarelli F, Butti AC, Salvato A. Sports-related dental injuries: knowledge of first aid and mouthguard use in a sample of Italian children and youngsters. Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2010;11:66–70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ranalli DN, Lancaster DM. Attitudes of college football officials regarding NCAA mouthguard regulations and player compliance. J Public Health Dent. 1993;53:96–00.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ranalli DN, Lancaster DM. Attitudes of college football coaches regarding NCAA mouthguard regulations and player compliance. J Public Health Dent. 1995;55:139–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lloyd JD, Nakamura WS, Maeda Y, Takeda T, Leesungbok R, Lazarchik D, Dorney B, Gonda T, Nakajima K, Yasui T, Iwata Y, Suzuki H, Tsukimura N, Churei H, Kwon KR, Choy MMH, Rock JB. Mouthguards and their use in sports: Report of the 1st International Sports Dentistry Workshop. Dent Traumatol. 2017;33:421–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Child safety and injury prevention. Safe Child. Accessed 1/7/19.
  12. 12.
    Chapman PJ, Nasser BP. Prevalence of orofacial injuries and use of mouthguards in high school Rugby Union. Aust Dent J. 1996;41:252–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gould TE, Piland SG, Caswell SV, Ranalli D, Mills S, Ferrara MS, Courson R. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: preventing and managing sport-related dental and oral injuries. J Athl Train. 2016;51:821–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Morton JG, Burton JF. An evaluation of the effectiveness of mouthguards in high-school rugby players. N Z Dent J. 1979;75:151–3.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Duddy FA, Weissman J, Lee RA Sr, Paranjpe A, Johnson JD, Cohenca N. Influence of different types of mouthguards on strength and performance of collegiate athletes: a controlled-randomized trial. Dent Traumatol. 2012;28:263–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Grewal N, Kumari F, Tiwari U. Comparative evaluation of shock absorption ability of custom-fit mouthguards with new-generation polyolefin self-adapting mouthguards in three different maxillary anterior teeth alignments using Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors. Dent Traumatol. 2015;31:294–01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sigurdsson A, Cohenca N. Prevention of dental and oral injuries. In: Andreasen JO, Andreasen FM, Andersson L, editors. Textbook and color atlas of traumatic injuries to the teeth. 5th ed. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell; 2019. p. 933–54.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. Accessed 1/7/19.
  19. 19.
    American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Pediatrics. 2001;108:1030–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chapman HR, Curran AL. Bicycle helmets—does the dental profession have a role in promoting their use? Br Dent J. 2004;196:555–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Thompson DC, Nunn ME, Thompson RS, Rivara F. Effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets in preventing serious facial injury. JAMA. 1996;276:1974–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Amadori F, Bardellini E, Copeta A, Conti G, Villa V, Majorana A. Dental trauma and bicycle safety: a report in Italian children and adolescents. Acta Odontol Scand. 2017;75:227–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Parkin PC, Spence LJ, Hu X, Kranz KE, Shortt LG, Wesson DE. Evaluation of a promotional strategy to increase bicycle helmet use by children. Pediatrics. 1993;91:772–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Petti S. Over two hundred million injuries to anterior teeth attributable to large overjet: a meta-analysis. Dent Traumatol. 2015;31:1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Institute. Accessed 1/7/19.
  26. 26.
    Sabuncuoglu O, Taser H, Berkem M. Relationship between traumatic dental injuries and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: proposal of an explanatory model. Dent Traumatol. 2005;21:249–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sabuncuoglu O, Irmak MY. The attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder model for traumatic dental injuries: a critical review and update of the last 10 years. Dent Traumatol. 2017;33:71–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ziegler AM. Analysis of a comprehensive dental trauma database: an epidemiologic study of traumatic dental injuries to the permanent dentition. Dissertation, The Ohio State University; 2014.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Man KK, Chan EW, Coghill D, Douglas I, Ip P, Leung LP, Tsui MS, Wong WH, Wong IC. Methylphenidate and the risk of trauma. Pediatrics. 2015;135:40–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Traffic safety facts 1997. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US Dept of Transportation. Publication DOT HS 808770; 1998.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mouzakes J, Koltai PJ, Kuhar S, Bernstein DS, Wing P, Salsberg E. The impact of airbags and seat belts on the incidence and severity of maxillofacial injuries in automobile accidents in New York State. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127:1189–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Durbin DR, Chen I, Smith R, Elliott MR, Winston FK. Effects of seating position and appropriate restraint use on the risk of injury to children in motor vehicle crashes. Pediatrics. 2005;115:e305–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Natu SS, Pradhan H, Gupta H, Alam S, Gupta S, Pradhan R, Mohammad S, Kohli M, Sinha VP Shankar R, Agarwal A. An epidemiological study on pattern and incidence of mandibular fractures. Plast Surg Int. 2012;2012:834364.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fisher-Owens SA, Lukefahr JL, Tate AR, American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Oral Health, Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Council on Clinical affairs, Council on Scientific Affairs, Ad Hoc Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect. Oral and dental aspects of child abuse and neglect. Pediatr Dent. 2017;39:278–83.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Christian CW, Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, American Academy of Pediatrics. The evaluation of suspected child physical abuse. Pediatrics. 2015;135:e1337–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ferreira MC, Batista AM, Ferreira FO, Ramos-Joege ML, Marques LS. Pattern of oral-maxillofacial trauma stemming from interpersonal physical violence and determinant factors. Dent Traumatol. 2014;30:15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Gassner R, Bosch R, Tuli T, Emshoff R. Prevalence of dental trauma in 6000 patients with facial injuries: implications for prevention. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 1999;87(1):27–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Levin L, Lin S, Goldman S, Peleg K. Relationship between socio-economic position and general, maxillofacial and dental trauma: A National Trauma Registry Study. Dent Traumatol. 2010;26:342–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    American College of Surgeons National Trauma Data Bank Pediatric report. 2016. Accessed 12/7/18.
  40. 40.
    World Health Organization. INSPIRE: seven strategies for ending violence against children. 2016. Accessed 12/28/18.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca L. Slayton
    • 1
  • Elizabeth A. Palmer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric DentistryUniversity of Washington School of DentistrySeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric DentistryOregon Health & Science University School of DentistryPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations