Together with the Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Association of Orthodontists, Associated Orthodontists is recognizing National Facial Protection Month. Each April, this professional community educates parents, patients, coaches, teachers and caregivers on the importance of protecting the head, mouth and face through the use of sports safety equipment, such as mouth guards and helmets.
Each year, it is estimated that 12 million people, ages of 5 – 22, suffer a sport-related injury. This leads to 20 million lost days of school1 and approximately $33 billion in healthcare costs.2
So whether a weekend warrior, or active in organized sports, facial protection is a must! Follow the 5 tips below to help ensure proper protection.
- Make a mouth guard a must. A properly fitted mouth guard reduces the chances of even the most common dental injury by up to 60 times! And, remember — mouth guards are not just for contact or organized sports, and should be worn any time the mouth could come into contact with a ball, hard object, another player or the pavement.
- Don’t head in without head protection. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents. Wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a serious brain injury and death because during a fall or collision, most of the impact energy is absorbed by the helmet, rather than the head and brain.
- Save face. Baseballs, football and hockey pucks can do some serious facial damage at any age. Wear a face shield to help avoid damage to the delicate bones around the eyes, nose and jaw.
- Protect your peepers. You only have one set of eyes, so make sure this very vulnerable body part is protected.
- Do a double check. 65% of parents report that when their child suffered a mouth injury, they were NOT wearing a mouth guard AND 67% of parents admitted their children do not wear mouth guards when playing sports. Do a double check to make sure the proper safety equipment is being used during sports and activity!
Associated Orthodontists provides complimentary mouth guards for its patients, and has six convenient locations in Joliet, Plainfield, Morris, New Lenox, Frankfort and Bourbonnais. Please visit greatbraces.com to find a location near you, and to schedule your complimentary consultation.
- National Athletic Trainers’ Association. (unpublished media review). 2. Ferguson RW. Safe Kids Worldwide Analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data, 2013.