April is National Facial Protection Month
Every April we focus our efforts on educating the public and spreading the message to parents, teachers, coaches, and athletes of the importance of protecting your child’s face and head during outdoor activities.
Springtime brings with it an influx of injuries to the head, face, and mouth that often can be prevented by using appropriate safety equipment such as helmets and mouthguards. We want to encourage everyone to enjoy the activities of the season while making responsible choices that will prevent these sports injuries.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimates that $500 million dollars is spent every year on repairing the more than 5 million teeth that are injured or knocked out.
Of all the dental injuries, 13-39% are sports related. Statistics show that athletes are 60% more likely to harm their teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. The maxillary central incisor is the most commonly injured tooth. We believe that mouthguards are an essential piece of every athlete’s safety equipment.
In order of frequency, here are the five most common causes of childhood injuries: basketball, football, bicycling, playgrounds, and soccer. Your child doesn’t have to be playing a contact sport to be at risk. Any active child who spends time outdoors running, jumping, or climbing is vulnerable to mouth injuries, so taking precautions is highly recommended. Children are the most vulnerable to sports-related mouth injuries between the ages of seven and eleven.
Mouthguards are the first line of protection against injury to the mouth and teeth. They can help cushion a blow to the face and reduce the risk of injury to the teeth, lips, tongue, and jaw.
The best mouthguards are ones that have been custom made for your child’s mouth by a dentist. This ensures a proper fit and the best protection for your child’s teeth. If you cannot afford a custom-fit mouthguard, stock mouthguards or boil-and-bite guards available at sporting good stores are a great alternative.