As the weather gets warmer, everyone will likely be spending more time outside. For kids and teens, that may mean participating in spring sports and activities. While it’s certainly a great opportunity to have fun and be active out of the house, it’s also a time of year when smiles and faces are more at risk for injuries.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to recognizing April as National Facial Protection Month. In addition to our orthodontic services, we strive to keep our patients across Scotia, NY, informed about the best ways to stay safe and protect their faces and mouths.

For helpful safety tips, read on below, or contact us to learn more about orthodontic treatment.

What is National Facial Protection Month?

National Facial Protection Month is an annual awareness campaign that strives to educate parents and children about the importance of using proper protection to help prevent sports-related injuries. Taking place every April, the campaign is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and American Association of Orthodontists.

Sports & Facial Injuries

Around one third of childhood injuries occur while a child is playing sports. No matter how talented or athletic your child is, playing sports puts them more at risk for dental damage than any other type of facial injuries.

Accidents can happen during sports, increasing the chances of chipped, broken, or knocked out teeth, as well as broken jaws and other painful facial injuries. That’s why it’s always important to stay informed about proper precautions to prevent such accidents and injuries.

How Can You Prevent Facial Injuries?

Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment. While it may be difficult to convince your child to wear protective gear, it’s important to remember that it’s a much safer and preferred alternative to a painful sports-related injury. Below are some effective methods for preventing facial injuries.

Wear a Helmet

If a sport allows the use of a helmet, then it’s highly recommended to wear one. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and can help to prevent damage to the head.

Wear a Face Shield

A face shield can protect the face and mouth from objects being hit, thrown, or kicked at them. While it can be more obtrusive than other options, it offers the benefit of protecting the entire face from injury.

Wear a Mouth Guard

The best way to prevent damage to the teeth and mouth is to wear a mouth guard. Small and often inexpensive, mouth guards can dramatically reduce teeth and jaw injuries, while helping to avoid costly medical expenses.

Why Are Mouth Guards Important?

Mouth guards are specifically designed to guard and protect the teeth and mouth. According to the American Dental Association, mouth guard users are between 82% and 93% less likely to suffer dentofacial injuries than non-users. As one of the easiest and least expensive pieces of protective sports gear available, mouth guards can ultimately prevent teeth from being chipped, broken, or knocked out.

A properly fitted mouth guard is vital for providing the best protection possible. For children with braces or other orthodontic apparatuses fixed to their teeth, mouth guards are especially important as they can protect braces from breaking. If you have questions or are interested in recommendations for orthodontic mouth guards, please contact us today.

What Types of Mouth Guards Are Available?

Choosing the right mouth guard can depend on a number of factors, including the planned amount of use and your budget. No matter your needs, it’s always helpful to know what options are available and the differences between them.

Custom-Made Mouth Guards

Custom-made mouth guards are created from full-mouth impressions and are specifically molded to fit every tooth’s contour. While they are the most expensive option, they provide the most protection and comfort, covering all the teeth and providing cushioning for the jaw.

Orthodontic Mouth Guards

Orthodontic mouth guards are specifically designed to offer protection and comfort for individuals who have braces or are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Recommended brands include Shock Doctor mouth guards (available at Walmart, Amazon, and sporting goods stores) and Sisu mouth guards (available on Amazon).

Keeping Your Face & Smile Protected

Prevent damage to your child’s face, mouth, and teeth this National Facial Protection Month and year-round by having them use protective sports equipment. Whether that means wearing a mouth guard, helmet, and/or face shield, the use of such gear can provide vital protection and safety.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we’re doing our part to promote best practices when it comes to facial protection. While we do not offer mouth guards, we can provide recommendations and advice for our orthodontic patients. From answering whether Invisalign aligners should be removed during contact sports to determining the right kind of mouth guard to fit over braces, we are dedicated to helping you and your family stay protected.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!