Abstract: Aim This study aims at ascertaining the capacity of 2 groups of young athletes to be faithful to the initial oral prevention project, with the difference that the study group received motivational reminders by either researchers and technical staff members of the team during the observation period, while the control group did not receive any motivational reminders.
Materials and methods This observational study was based on two groups selected from a wide group of 150 adolescent basketball players who accepted to use a custom-made mouth guard during their sport sessions. None of the selected athletes (60 adolescents aged between 12 and 15 years ) had ever worn a mouth guard during their sports activity. A customised mouth guard was supplied, and subjetcs were requested to wear it for 12 months during training sessions and competitions. The study group was composed of 30 athletes, 15 males and 15 females, who received a constant motivational reinforcement to the use of the mouth guard by their coach and during checkups. Similarly, the control group was composed of 30 athletes (15 males and 15 females) who did not receive any motivational reinforcement.
Results Twelve months after the beginning of the study, 24 subjects belonging to the control group were not using the mouth guard, while only 7 subjects of the study group were not using it. It was also noticed, six months after the beginning of the observation period, a rapid decline in the participantsí interest in the use of the mouth guard.
Conclusion No traumatic event was registered among those adolescents who had used the mouth guard for the whole period of the study. Female athletes showed greater compliance to this prevention project. It is important that all technical staff members, and particularly the leading coach, encourage the regular use of oral protection devices for prevention among teenagers practicing sports.