April is National Facial Protection Month
By Larry Stewart, DDS, MS
This month we’re spreading the word to remind both children and adults: as you suit up for outdoor activities this spring,don’t forget to protect your face and head. Spring often brings a flood of patients suffering with head, mouth and facial injuries resulting from sports-related accidents to the dental office and emergency rooms. Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouth guards.
and taking the necessary precautions to prevent sports injuries.
Although mouth guards are now generally considered standard equipment for football and hockey players, they really should be worn during any contact sport. Contact sport is not limited to one player knocking into another, but encompasses any sport in which the player is likely to have his or her face come into contact with the pavement or other hard object. Our clinical experience is that baseball is the most common sport for a player to suffer a facial or dental injury!
In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, more than half of the 7 million sports- and recreation-related injuries that occur each year are sustained by youth as young as 5 years old.
Last year, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events yet, in a survey commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists, 67% of parents admit that their child does not wear a mouth guard during organized sports.
April is the perfect time to get into the mouth guard habit. It’s the perfect time to promote the service of custom mouth guards in your office. Advise your patients to wear one at every practice and every game.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
A Consumer’s Guide to Selecting the Right Mouth Guard
The American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Academy for Sports Dentistry advocate the use of mouth guards for children and adults during organized and recreational sporting activities. Organized sports include, but are not limited to, football, wrestling, basketball, baseball, volleyball, ice and field hockey, softball and soccer. Recreational sports include cycling, in-line skating, skateboarding or any activity in which the face could come in contact with a hard object, another person or the pavement. This chart details different kinds of mouth guards.
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Our advice is:
Protect you and loved ones from preventable injuries. Wear a mouth guard at every practice, every game, and every time.
How can you play it safe?
Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to one’s head.
Wear protective eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs, and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.
Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Mouth guards can help prevent injury to a person’s jaw, mouth and teeth; and they are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury. A custom mouth guard offers the best protection.
The link below is a printable form that your patients can use to triage dental and facial injuries. It can be kept in a purse, billfold or on the refrigerator for immediate access.
It’s our hope that you have a safe a fun filled Spring. Just remember to take your mouth guard and facial protection!