Oro-facial injuries and mouth guard use in sports: Knowledge and Attitudes of Coaches in Nigeria

  • CO Onyeaso Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Keywords: Oro-facial injuries, mouth guard, sports, knowledge and attitude, Nigerian Coaches


Sport development in Africa has suffered some setbacks due to many factors such as lack of good training environment, lack of good coaches and incentives. The use of mouth protectors in contact sport is still poorly practised in Africa. This study aimed that assessing the perceptions of coaches in Nigeria about oro-facial injuries and mouth guard use in sports. A 10-item, self completion questionnaire was structured and distributed to 50 coaches representing all the sporting activities in the 36 State of Nigeria including Abuja during the last 2002 National Sports Festival in Benin city, Nigeria. Forty coaches completed and returned the forms (80% response rate). Majority of the coaches (70.0%) indicated football (Soccer) as a sport requiring the use of mouth guards followed by basketball and bicycling accounting for 10.0% each. Over 97% of the coaches believed that mouth guard prevents sports-related oro-facial injuries while 95.0% of them would want more information on mouth guards. Quality and degree of oral protection was the major factor (52.5%) that would influence the choice of mouth guard by the coaches for their athletes. Coaches' rule was the reason for 50% of them who claimed requesting their athletes to procure mouth guards. The coaches in Nigeria claimed to recognise the importance of mouth guards in prevention of oro-facial injuries during sports but need more information in this regard.

Key Words: Oro-facial injuries; mouth guard; sports; knowledge and attitude; Nigerian Coaches.

Nig. J Health and Biomed. Sciences Vol.2(2) 2003: 68-72


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eISSN: 1595-8272