A team sport enjoying worldwide popularity, hockey is played on many fronts and by many. The game consists of brutal force and fast moves that often result in accidents. A frequent result of such accidents is hockey players losing their teeth due to the nature of the sport. Although quite common, the reasons why hockey players lose teeth may vary.
The dimensions of a hockey puck are around 1 inch thick, and 3 inches in diameter. Made from rubber or wood, they can travel up to speeds of 100 miles per hour. If a player is hit in the face with a puck, especially unprotected by a shield or cage, they can get knocked out. They can cause serious damage to muscle or bones when hit the skin and even result in knocked-out or damaged teeth or other dental injuries.
Body checks and collisions
Being a fundamental contact sport, hockey players cannot escape colliding with each other or are checked into the boards. Sometimes these collisions catch the players when they are unprepared and can cause serious facial injuries and dental trauma. This can result in serious injuries like losing teeth.
The weight of a hockey stick should not exceed 737 grams. Anything under 450 gm is considered lightweight. Depending on the weight and dimensions, players use the stick to manoeuvre the puck and keep balance. Since they gain a lot of momentum with their proportion and speed, they can cause serious injuries when they come in contact with the players. Such accidents may result in deformed or knocked-out teeth.
In a game involving physical contact, fighting becomes a means of security. In hockey, especially ice hockey, fighting constitutes an important part. Fist-fights used to be very frequent in the game in the earlier days. Although in recent times it has become less common, it is still prevalent and used as a means of policing the opposite team’s behaviour. Sometimes the fights get ugly, leading to punches that result in mouth and dental injuries.
To prevent such injuries, at least to a predictable extent, hockey players use mouthguards. This protective gear covers teeth and saves the mouth as well as the face from direct assault. In addition to mouth guards, some players also wear entire full cages or shields for extra protection.
One must remember that, despite all these protective measures dental injuries still occur in hockey quite frequently. However, one must also remember that people are susceptible to such injuries even if they do other contact sports that involve physical contact and welding equipment. The chances of them occurring in a game of hockey are more simply because the game is fast-paced and physical. Safety is prioritized by both teams and players alike, but it never quite eliminates the risk of losing teeth.