April is National Face Protection month and if you haven’t already purchased a stock, boil and bite or a custom made mouthguard for you and your family this spring, now is the time to do so.

Team captains, practice squads, teachers, coaches, parents and caregivers should make sure that everyone plays it safe whether on the field or in the swimming pool.

Accidents do happen whether you or a child that you are responsible for is playing a contact sport, or just horsing around. In fact, in a recent study, from 2001-2008, the NEISS, which is a database of all injuries treated in emergency rooms, found that five of the most common cause of injuries to kids were in the order listed:

Basketball

Football

Bicycling

Playgrounds

Soccer

Every year it is estimated that more than 12 million people from the ages of five to twenty two years suffer from some sort of injury related to sports. This leads to around 33 billion in medical care costs and 20 million missed days of school. However, some of these injuries could have been prevented had the injured child or adult worn a sports mouthguard.

According to your dentist, properly fitted mouthguards should be just as important as a helmet and pads. When you schedule an appointment with your dentist, it is imperative that you discuss the activities that you and your kids enjoy and ask what the best ways are to keep faces, teeth, and gums protected.

Whether you or your kids are playing baseball, riding the waves or tackling a trail on a mountain bike, it is vital that you practice the following safety tips to help prevent facial injuries.

Get a mouthguard

Mouth protectors are an essential piece of equipment and cost far less than a trip to the emergency room. Your dentist can make you and your family custom made mouthguards that will hold your teeth in place allowing you to breathe and speak normally.

Invest in a Helmet

Helmets can help prevent head damage as they absorb energy if an impact occurs. Helmets are available from your local sporting goods store and can go a long way when it comes to preventing head injuries.

20/20 Vision

Protective eyewear is the key when it comes to playing sports. See your optometrist if you wear glasses and contacts and make sure that you have eyewear that helps prevent damage and allows you to see the playing field.

Face Masks

Wearing a face shield not only saves skin, but can also prevent serious facial injuries regardless of age. Footballs, hockey pucks, racquetballs, and baseballs can cause severe damage.

Shout it out

Protective gear should be mandatory when it comes to most sports. After all, athletes who play hockey, football, or box are required to wear mouthguards, as it is a proven fact that they decrease oral injury risk so why isn’t it mandatory that all sports requires children to wear them.

For more information regarding custom-made mouthguards, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. 

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