As dental professionals nationwide observe National Facial Protection Month, dentists can take the opportunity to remind their patients, both children and adults, about using safety strategies to protect themselves against injuries to the face, head and mouth.
The AAOMS encourages use of helmets during a variety of sports and activities, including riding bicycles, scooters and motorcycles; or playing baseball, soccer or lacrosse. An AAOMS news release states that nearly half of children 14 and under who are hospitalized for bicycle-related injuries are diagnosed with brain injuries, and helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent and brain injury by 88 percent.
Mouthguards, which typically cover the upper teeth, can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth, according to the ADA. A properly fitted mouthguard will stay in place and be easy for users to talk and breathe while wearing.