National Facial Protection Month: Are you saving face?

You’ve heard it all before. Your family here at Forever Smiles has told you - time and again. Wear your mouth guard! And in honor of April as National Facial Protection Month, we’ re going to say it again.

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 (yes, that’s a lot of people who really care about your face), National Facial Protection Month is that time of year when we remind parents, coaches and athletes to gear up before they game on.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team has always advocated the importance of playing it safe by wearing a mouthguard at every practice and every game. So, to help you remember when the right time is to wear a mouthguard, we have put together these little graphics, so you can you play smart when you strive to bring home the prize!

Did you know that 27 percent of parents surveyed said their child has sustained an injury during an organized sport that resulted in a trip to the emergency room? That’s right! Nearly 67 percent of parents surveyed by the American Association of Orthodontists said their child does not wear a mouth guard, yet 70 percent said their biggest fear is their child will get hurt when playing organized sports. That’s why Forever Smiles thinks it’s so important!

In fact, according to the December 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, single traumatic injury to the teeth may never heal completely. What’s more it can create a lifetime of expensive and long-term problems for the affected individual.

If you play baseball, soccer, basketball or football you probably already know those sports account for a lot of mouth injuries, but in fact it’s about 80 percent of all sports-related emergency room visits for children between the ages of 5 and 14.

So, what do you do? Wear your mouth guard of course! But, you should also keep your mouth guard clean by rinsing it before and after each use. You should also store in a perforated container to let your mouth guard dry out. And always avoid chewing on the mouth guard. Doing that breaks it down making it much less effective at protecting your teeth and gums. Oh, and if you have removable retainers, never ever wear them with your mouth guard. Doing that can not only cause damage to your teeth and gums but can bend wires making them less effective at doing their job. Lastly, replace your mouth guard when it shows signs of wear.

Not all mouth guards are the same either. So when you are ready, set, go to play a sport... ask us what’s right for you. Doing all these things will ensure your mouth guard is providing you the best protection for you, your face and your beautiful Forever Smile!