April is National Facial Protection Month. As we return to outdoor sports and other activities, April is a great time to remind yourself about the importance of taking a few precautions to preserve your childs teeth and be protected from facial injuries.
Dr. Deji V. Fashemo with Fourth Dimension Orthodontics & Craniofacial Orthopedics wants to remind parents, coaches and athletes to play it safe as they prepare to suit up for recreational and organized sports this Spring. A child's mouth and face can be easily injured if the proper precautions are not used while playing sports such as lacrosse, hockey, soccer, baseball or football.
In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, more than half of the 7 million sports and recreation related injuries that occur each year are sustained by youth as young as 5 years old. Last year, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events – yet, in a survey commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists, 67% of parents admit that their child does not wear a mouth guard during organized sports. This raises a question: if mouth guards offer a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to help dramatically decrease the risk of oral and facial injuries, why aren’t more kids wearing them? Parents are encouraged to talk with their orthodontist about the right mouth guards for their young athletes, and to urge coaches to require that young athletes wear their mouth guards at every practice and every game. (AAO)
A few tips on how your child can play it safe...
Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to one's head.
Wear protective eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs, and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.
Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Mouth guards can help prevent injury to a person's jaw, mouth and teeth; and they are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury.