The Importance of National Facial Protection Month
April marks National Facial Protection Month, a national holiday sponsored by the Academy of Sports Dentistry and the American Dental Association. This month we are reinforcing the importance of protecting your child’s face and head when getting them prepared for outdoor sports and activities. Here are some things to note when considering proper facial protection this season.
Head injuries in young children are no joke!
Spring often brings a flood of patients suffering from mouth and facial injuries into doctors, dentists, and emergency rooms. Many of which can be easily prevented with the use of safety equipment such as helmets and mouthguards. In fact, an estimated 12 million people age 5 to 22 years old suffer a sport-related injury annually. The potential for injury increases as kids and parents transition into outdoor activities and spring sports.
All sports and activities warrant proper facial protection.
Only a few sports (football, hockey, and boxing) specifically require the use of mouthguards to decrease the risk of oral injury, so why is it not mandatory for every sport? Well, it should be! Face shields are an essential piece of any athletic equipment that can save you both time and money. Even playing on the monkey bars or biking to a friend’s house could be a recipe for disaster. Make sure your child is properly equipped each time they leave the house.
The difference between helmets and mouthguards.
Mouthguards and helmets are both viable options in the stand against facial injury. The decision of what equipment is right for your child is ultimately yours to make and may depend on the type of sport or your dentist’s professional opinion. One benefit of helmets is that they may be able to absorb more of the energy from a potential impact and have the advantage of shielding a larger surface area than a mouth guard. In contrast, mouthguards are generally less expensive and more adaptable to your child’s specific needs.
Choosing the right mouthguard.
The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your child’s mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom made mouthguard, you can find standard stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards at your local sporting goods stores.
If you have any questions or concerns about proper facial protection or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss investing in a custom mouthguard, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Tooth Fairy Smiles.