Unless you belt down double-blacks or race HGVs to the inside line on corners, cycling is not dangerous. But that won't cut any ice with those who want to see all cyclists in the UK wear compulsory safety equipment. Right now it's just helmets, but in the US three dental orgs are calling for cyclists to wear mouth-guards, "not just in April but year-round...so adults and children alike...can continue to whistle, smile, sing." NOTE: this was NOT an April 1st spoof.As part of a promotional programme for the fifth annual 'April is National Facial Protection Month', the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Association of Orthodontists are saying "An Ounce of Prevention Still Worth a Pound of Cure."
A top-of-the-line mouthguard can cost as much as $150, but say the dental orgs, "rehabilitation costs for a single knocked out tooth can surpass the price of a custom-made mouth guard by 20 times."
Likening mouthguards to cycle helmets, a press release from the three dental orgs says: "Helmets help players live to play another day . The U.S. Center for Disease Control estimates that universal helmet use could save one life each day."
Universal helmet use? For walking, driving and climbing trees? No, just cycling.
"Bicycle-related head injuries account for more than 150,000 emergency department visits annually. The rate of injury is highest for children ages 5 to 15," states the toothsome press release.
"The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists advocate the use of mouth guards for children and adults when cycling, in-line skating, skateboarding or playing any sport with the potential for facial injuries."
Come on, why stop at sports? How many teeth are knocked out in bar-room brawls or in car crashes? BikeBiz.com says mouthguards for all, 24/7. Let's form the Teeth Initiative Trust and tame ourselves a flabby MP, apparently it's all the rage...