As we thaw from our winters spent in quarantine, many of us are excited to jump back into the outdoor activities we love. Unfortunately with the onset of warmer weather comes an increase in injuries to the head, mouth, and face from sports-related accidents and injuries.
The good news is that many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the proper use of safety gear like helmets and mouth guards. National Facial Protection Month is sponsored annually by the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry, and the American Dental Association in a collaborative effort to remind families, coaches, and athletes to protect their smiles during recreational and organized sports.
Direct hits to the face with a hard object like a hockey puck or baseball, or player-to-player contact account for as much as 10 to 39% of all dental injuries in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Policy on Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries.
The dental associations offer the following five tips to help prevent facial injury:
- Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports.
- Wear a helmet.
- Wear protective eyewear.
- Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin.
- Make protective gear mandatory for all sports.
For patients who wear braces or other devices that move teeth or align the jaw, an orthodontist can recommend an appropriate mouthguard. At our Henderson location, all of our orthodontic and dental residents are licensed dentists in the State of Nevada and are teamed with highly qualified, board-certified, or board-eligible faculty to provide comprehensive dental and orthodontic care to patients of all ages.
April is also Oral Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, oral and pharyngeal cancer collectively claims the lives of nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. AAOMS explains that the death rate associated with oral and pharyngeal cancers remains high as a result of the cancer being discovered late in its development. Let this serve as a great motivator to get back on track with your oral care if you’ve missed your bi-annual dental appointment. Although a dentist cannot diagnose oral cancer during your examination, he or she is trained to identify areas of concern or any growths that may require further examination.
Protect your smile! Call Roseman Dental today to schedule your appointment.