When Brain-Pad Inc. said that its mouthguards could protect an athlete’s teeth from injury, no eyebrows were raised at the Federal Trade Commission. The same cannot be said, however, of the claim that they could reduce the risk of concussions.
The FTC also had problems with claims that the mouthguards could help protect the lower jaw from injury, but noted that in some cases this may be a supportable claim.
There is no clinical evidence to support the claim that a mouthguard can protect the brain from injury and help prevent concussions, according to the FTC, and it has gotten the company to agree to cease making such claims.
The claims were not made in broadcast ads, but rather appeared on the internet, in print advertising and were part of the devices’ packaging. They sold for between $10 and $30.
“Mouthguards can help to shield a person’s teeth from being injured, and some can reduce impact to the lower jaw,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But it’s a big leap to say these devices can also reduce the risk of concussions. The scientific evidence to make that claim just isn’t adequate.”
The FTC said its all part of its ongoing campaign to protect consumers from “over-hyped health claims.”
The settlement did not include any financial penalties. The finding is not yet final and is subject to a public comment period.