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Why Facial Protection is Necessary to Keep Smiles Safe

April 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — brushforkids @ 8:43 pm
a young boy wearing football gear and preparing to insert a customized mouthguard to protect his teeth and gums

Did you know that April is National Facial Protection Month? With temperatures rising and children spending more of their time playing outside, you will want to take extra steps to keep them safe from more than just allergies. Whether they are riding bikes or engaging in sports, dental injuries can turn any beautiful day into one filled with panic and uncertainty. Fortunately, your child’s pediatric dentist is here to share what steps you can take as a parent to better protect their face and smile. Read on to learn more about the benefits of facial protection and customized mouthguards.

The Importance of Proper Facial Protection

According to a news release compiled by various national dental organizations, a 2015 study in the journal of Sports Health stated that an estimated $500 million is spent to replace and repair more than 5 million teeth affected by sports-related injuries. It is also estimated that to treat and maintain a knocked-out tooth and the treatment that follows can range from $5,000-$20,000 over a lifetime.

Needless to say, if the Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) come together to raise awareness about facial protection, you’ll want to listen. Far too many mouth, face, and head injuries occur each year as a result of children’s sports. From knocked-out or chipped teeth to busted lips and fractured jaws, making sure children are equipped with the right forms of facial protection is essential to avoiding trips to the local emergency room or dentist’s office.

What Types of Facial Protection Are Available?

Depending on the activity your child is participating in, you may want to provide them with more than just one form of facial protection. After all, these unexpected visits can lead to costly and timely procedures, many of which can cause your child to miss school and valuable instruction. The most common forms of face protection your child will need include:

  • a helmet
  • protective eyewear
  • face shield
  • mouthguards

Why Do Most Dentists Focus on Mouthguards?

It is not because other forms of face protection are not important, but your child’s pediatric dentist is likely putting more attention on customized mouthguards because they are capable of protecting the teeth and soft oral tissues. The ADA recommends these oral devices because they serve as a barrier should your child experience a hard-hitting tackle, a soccer ball to the face, or even a sudden fall off the balance beam in gymnastics.

Not only will a custom-made mouthguard protect their pearly whites, but it will also shield their lips and gums, minimizing the potential for busted, cut, or scratched soft tissues during play. The reason for a custom mouthguard is to ensure it properly fits and is comfortable to wear. One-size-fits-all solutions can be ill-fitting, making it difficult for your child to wear. However, their pediatric dentist can work to create a comfortable, protective, and effective mouthguard that will keep their smile intact throughout the game.

As a parent, you can’t protect your child from every bump or bruise, but you can help them to safeguard their smile while playing the game they love. 

About the Author
At Brush Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Mira Albert leads a team of pediatric dentists who make it possible for little ones to achieve healthier smiles. Understanding the need for facial protection, Dr. Albert works closely with parents and children/teens to fabricate a customized mouthguard that will act as a barrier against anything that could potentially harm their teeth or soft oral tissues. If you have a child who enjoys playing sports, contact us at (630) 504-2223 and let us help provide greater protection while on the field.

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