April is National Facial Protection Month

As the weather gets warmer we all tend to spend more time outside. And perhaps our kids are participating in some fun spring sports. While we’re happy that they’re out the house doing something active, it’s not all fun and games when smiles and faces are at risk for injuries. That’s one reason our Hyde Park dental office chooses to do our part to promote National Facial Protection Month.

About National Facial Protection Month

Sponsored by 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, National Facial Protection Month is an awareness campaign that strives to educate parents and children on the importance of using proper protection to help prevent injuries while participating in sports. And based on the data you’re about to see, it’s an important cause that we can surely get behind.

The Data on Sports Injuries

According to an article by Johns Hopkins, more than 3.5 million kids under the age of 15 are hurt every year participating in a sport or similar recreational activities. Of those, over 770,000 kids are hurt bad enough to require a trip to the emergency room. Many of these injuries are sprains and strains, but there’s still a large amount that result in a facial or head injury.

When on the playing field or court, anything can happen. Two kids can collide, an ankle can roll, a knee can get twisted, or a mouth can connect with an elbow. In fact, 39% of all children’s sports dental injuries are caused by a direct hit with a ball or another player, according to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Mouthguards can help lower this number and keep your child protected.

The Importance of Mouthguards

Mouthguards are designed to, quite obviously, guard and protect the teeth and mouth. A mouthguard can prevent teeth from being chipped, broken, or knocked out. But properly fitted mouthguards can even protect the bone and tissues around the teeth and jaw, and lower the chance of concussions. But not all mouthguards are equally effective.

Store-Bought vs. Custom-Made Mouthguards

It may be more convenient to head on over to your local sporting goods store and pick up a packaged mouthguard. Following a quick dip in some boiling water and a sturdy bite, you have a molded mouthguard. While that’s better than nothing, there’s a noticeable difference in the quality between these boil-and-bite mouthguards and a custom-made one from your dentist in Hyde Park.

Custom mouthguards are specifically molded to fit every tooth’s contour and provide the ultimate in protection. They’re also constructed to ensure extended comfort. This means less time out of the mouth and more time in the mouth where they belong.

If anyone in your family is gearing up to play any sort of sport this spring, schedule an appointment at our dental office in Hyde Park. We’re here to keep smiles healthy and protected. Don’t wait for an accident to occur, call us today.

Watch Out! These Are the Top 5 Most Dangerous Sports for Smiles

From kids to adults, there’s no shame in getting your game on. It’s a great way to get your daily exercise and spend time with friends or family. (And a little competition never hurt.)

With any sport, we run the risk of spraining an ankle or breaking a wrist. But you also run an even bigger danger of damaging your teeth. No one wants that! Especially your dentist in Hyde Park.

Oral injuries from sports can range from a simple bump on the lip to requiring major dental surgery to repair a smile. (Hello, hockey players!) Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of broken, chipped teeth due to sports. Here are some of the most common culprits when it comes to wreaking havoc on smiles.

#1 – Football

As the gridiron game starts to heat up this month, you should know that it’s not so hot for your smile. You can probably imagine that any sport requiring tackling is going to cause an injury or two somewhere along the way. Make sure you and your kiddos are equipped with a custom mouthguard. They offer added protection to your bite when you’re fighting hard on the field. You don’t want tackles taking out your teeth.

#2 – Basketball

This court can be harsh on teeth. Not everyone wears mouthguards to protect their smile when playing basketball, but there are so many opportunities for damage to your teeth. This is true, especially as we grow older and continue in the sport. Just picture it: an elbow flailing here and there or a ball headed straight for the kisser. Basketball has the potential to do some serious damage to your teeth.

#3 – Martial Arts

Sports such as martial arts, mixed martial arts, boxing, and others can also spell trouble for your teeth. There’s no denying that these sports are full-contact and sometimes literally mean hitting someone directly in the face. Oral injury is occasionally imminent. But it can be avoidable if you remember to wear a custom mouthguard courtesy of your Hyde Park dentist.

#4 – Stick and Bat Games

Think of a sport that you need a bat or a stick to play; we’ll wait. (Hint: Hockey, baseball, lacrosse, cricket, etc.) There’s an increased risk of getting smacked in the face with a stick or bat when you’re on the field or the ice with these sports. Just like all of the other sports we’ve discussed so far, it’s important to protect your smile with a mouthguard, especially if you’ve had extensive cosmetic work.

#5 – Skateboarding

Sure, Tony Hawk has a great smile. But we’re willing to bet he’s wiped out once or twice and his smile was right in the middle of it. Skateboarding can be fun and exhilarating just like a halfpipe, but if you’re not careful, your teeth can end up damaged. Chipped, broken, and knocked out teeth are common skateboarding injuries that we’ve seen (in children and parents).

At our Hyde Park dental office, we’re all about preventing damage and decay to your teeth. After all, we want your smile to last a lifetime. However, if you find yourself with a dental emergency with a sports injury, know that you can always count on us. Please call our office to learn more about how we can accommodate you and your family should a dental emergency arise. We’re always here to help you feel better and have a healthy smile!