April is National Facial Protection Month: 5 Points for Wearing a Mouth Guard During Sports
April is National Facial Protection month. I have treated many sports injuries over the years that could have been avoided if a mouthguard had been worn. I hope you will take to heart the 5 points for wearing a mouthguard below. Enjoy your spring and summer sports!
Wearing a Mouth Guard During Sports
It’s easy for people to not realize what they have until it’s gone. Imagine what it would be like if your child were missing a front tooth from facial trauma? They would probably be a bit embarrassed smiling and talking, and not to mention eating would feel pretty abnormal as well. The good news is that taking preventative measures to protect their smile can diminish the chances of having a toothless smile.
Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports decreases the risk of injuries to the mouth or jaw. Some sports players don’t like to wear mouth guards because of the inconvenience of their appearance while wearing one, but more injuries can happen when not wearing a mouth guard that can affect your appearance in a much more inconvenient way. I know this is a discussion I have with all three of my children. Here are five reasons why you should always protect your pearly whites when participating in any contact sports or collision sports where unexpected contact can happen:
1. Protection Against Tooth Fractures
Mouth guards protect your teeth from chipping and breaking. Even though tooth fractures can usually be saved, why go through the risk when wearing a mouth guard can save you all the trouble.
2. Protection Against Tooth Replacement
Wearing a mouth guard is cushion for your teeth, so if a ball hits your face your teeth don’t receive a crushing force. However, if a ball hits your mouth without a mouth guard, it can result in completely breaking or ruining your tooth, leaving you with a toothless smile and an emergency call to my office. Having a gap in your smile due to an accident that could have been prevented isn’t worth it.
3. Protection Against Soft Tissue Injuries
Some contact sports involve quick impacts that could leave you biting through your tongue or lips! A mouth guard can prevent soft tissue injuries by creating a soft resistance from teeth contacting your lips and tongue.
4. Protection Against Concussions
According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards could help reduce the severity and incidence concussions. A properly fitted mouth guard decreases the likelihood of sustaining concussive injury because the padding between the mandible and the maxilla can lessen the force of the mandible pushing up on the skull near the brain, which causes a concussion.
5. Protection Against Jaw Fractures
Wearing a protective mouth guard protects you from jaw fractures. Impact to the neck or jaw could result in serious injury, but with the protection of a mouth guard during an impact, it reduces the likelihood of jaw dislodgement or neck trauma.
The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year! Using a mouth guard won’t only help prevent you from dental and jaw injuries but can also prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work. If you’re ready to take the step to save your smile when playing sports, contact my office, Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery, at 864-458-9800 for more information about mouth guard protection.
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