Calling all athletes, coaches, teachers and parents! April is National Facial Protection Month and five of the nation’s top dental associations, including the American Association of Orthodontists, want to remind everyone to play it safe during recreational and organized sports. Taking certain precautions (i.e. wearing mouthguards, helmets, protective eyewear and face shields) during sports will help prevent serious, painful facial injuries that can take the fun out of the game.
As an orthodontist, I consider mouth guards the most essential way to protect the teeth and face during sports. Mouth guards help cushion a blow to the face, offering protection by absorbing high-impact energy from potentially traumatic blows. In this way they minimize the risk of broken teeth and injuries to lips, tongue, face or jaw, and even help prevent concussions.
Children ages 7-11 are most vulnerable to sports-related mouth injuries, and athletes are 60 percent more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouth guard. It is important to remember that a single traumatic injury to the teeth may never heal completely, and it can create a lifetime of expensive, long-term problems for the affected individual.
The best mouth guard is one that is custom made for your mouth by your dentist or orthodontist. However, a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite mouth guard, which are available at sporting good stores, are good alternatives. There are also a variety of mouth guard options for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.
In recognition of National Facial Protection Month, Pinecrest Orthodontics is offering free Shock Doctor mouthguards for any athlete needing one. Just stop by our office to claim yours (limit one per person). We are committed to helping athletes stay safe and avoid injuries the to face and mouth whenever possible.
Dr. Rothman is the owner and orthodontist at Pinecrest Orthodontics, located in the Dixie Belle Shops at 12197 S. Dixie Highway in Pinecrest, FL. PH: 305.423.4130 pinecrestortho.com. Please email Dr. Rothman with your orthodontic questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.