In many respects international sportsmen are trendsetters for the behaviour of recreational sportsmen. For this reason the attitude of international hockey players towards mouth protectors was studied. The possession and use of mouth protectors vary markedly between different countries. The incidence of dental-facial traumas among international field hockey players is high; 54% had sustained injuries necessitating a visit to a physician and/or a dentist. Of these victims 20% sustained serious dental damage at least once (women 16% and men 22%). Only 20% of the international players wear a mouth protector consistently during training and matches. Women use the apparatus almost twice as much as men. The main argument in rejecting a mouth protector is that it is not felt to be necessary.
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