Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Save Face. Wear a Mouth Guard! #NFPM


Each year during the month of April the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists sponsor National Facial Protection Month.

National Facial Protection Month focuses on spreading awareness about the importance of protecting children and adults from oral and facial injuries. Many injuries that do occur during sporting activities could have been prevented had the proper protective gear had been worn. An estimated 12 million people between the ages of 5 and 22 years suffer a sport-related injury annually.  A recently published study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a database of injuries treated at hospital emergency departments, for the period 2001-2008. Researchers found the five most common causes of childhood injuries were, in order of frequency, basketball, football, bicycling, playgrounds and soccer.

Dr. Poser wants to remind you that it is important for you to protect your mouth during treatment. For protection you must wear a mouth guard. A mouth guard can help prevent injury to the teeth, mouth and even jaw. Mouth guards are made of flexible material that is fitted to protect your upper and lower teeth. You can buy a stock mouth guard or get a custom guard made. The right fit mouth guard will act as cushions protecting your mouth from hits and preventing serious injury.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons advise that you to take five, and take in these five simple safety tips:

Mouth Guards are a Must. Mouth guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and dentists and dental specialists can make customized mouth guards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.  

Helmets are always Helpful. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.  

Have 20/20 Vision with Protective Eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.

Face Shields Save Skin…and more. Hockey pucks, footballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.

Cheer and Shout Out Your Support for Mandatory Protective Gear. Athletes who participate in football, hockey and boxing are required to wear mouth guards. If mouth guards have been proven to significantly decrease the risk of oral injuries, why is it not mandatory in every sport for kids to wear them?

To learn more about National Facial Protection Month please visit AAOMS.org

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