April is National Facial Protection Month so today I am going to talk about the importance of wearing a mouthguard. Over the years I have been an Orthodontist, I have seen many of my patients sustain sports injuries. The use of mouthguards greatly decreases the severity of these dental injuries. Nothing is worse than seeing a patient in pain because he/she was hit in the mouth during a sporting event and to know the trauma could have been prevented if she/she had worn a mouthguard. In addition, it is awful to have to explain to a parent why his/her child is going to need to see a dentist for extra dental treatment due to the trauma the teeth have sustained from the sports injury.
The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports dental injuries are the most common type of facial injury sustained during sports participation. These injuries can occur during contact sports like football and in non-contact activities like gymnastics and skateboarding. In addition, the Foundation estimates as many as three million teeth are knocked out in youth sporting events and athletes who will not wear mouthguards are sixty times more likely to damage their teeth. Mouthguards can prevent not only injury to the teeth, but also injury to jaws and soft tissue in and around the mouth (lips, tongue, inner lining of your ch