Dental News

Boys Have More Dental Injuries

August 15, 2007

by Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH – They say boys will be boys. And one study after another has found that boys are more likely than girls to have teeth broken or knocked out. Two recent studies confirm this.

Scottish researchers collected information from all children who visited a dental clinic between 2002 and 2004. They found that 60% of dental injuries happened to boys. Boys received 79% of all the sports-related dental injuries. They had 85% of all injuries related to assault.

Dental injuries also were more serious in boys than in girls. Boys were more likely to have broken teeth, for example.

The number of injuries reached a peak in the 8- to 11-year-old age group. Across all age groups, the most common causes of dental injury were falls (49%), sports (18%), bicycles or scooters (13%), assaults (7%) and auto accidents (2%). Almost all injuries in children under age 4 were from falls (87%).

One-third of all injuries happened in the summer months. Two-thirds of the injuries occurred outdoors. In almost one-fourth of the injuries, a tooth was knocked out.

A second study collected information from 1,046 Brazilian children, all 12 years old. Overall, about 1 of every 10 children had at least one dental injury in the past. This study also found that boys were more likely to have dental injuries than girls. About 12% of the boys and 9% of the girls had at least one dental injury.

The researchers also found that obese children were more likely to have a dental injury. So were children who had an overbite (or “buck teeth”).

Both studies are published in the August issue of the journal Dental Traumatology.