03 Apr April is National Facial Protection Month
April is National Facial Protection Month! Spring is here and so are sports and the injuries associated with playing those sports. With the coming of the Spring season, there is typically an increase of patients seen at dentists and emergency rooms for facial injuries. A mouthguard offers protection to the teeth and can be found in different forms:
- There are different types of mouth guards available:
- Stock guards are the least expensive. Because of the limited options for sizing, athletes must hold the guard in their mouth by biting at all times. Stock guards offer the least protection and can inhibit breathing & speech.
- Boil-and-bite guards offer a better fit than stock guards. These are made by dropping the guard into hot water, then allowing it to cool slightly before being placed into the mouth where it is formed around the teeth with pressure from the fingers. A common concern is the lack of comfort and proper fit from the guard.
- Custom-made guards provide the best fit, comfort, and protection of all mouth guard options available. These are made by a dentist, who takes impressions of the teeth. The impression is used to make a cast model of the teeth and mouth, which is then typically sent to a lab for the mouth guard fabrication. These guards can be made with multiple layers of material in varying degrees of softness, which offers the best protection to the teeth.
Protecting your head with a properly fitting helmet as well as a face shield and mouthguard will give the best overall facial protection. Dr. Charles Kim, Dr. Young Kim and our team at Gentle Smile Dentistry can make a custom fit mouthguard which can protect against a variety of injuries including broken or cracked teeth.
National Facial Protection Month is sponsored annually by the American Dental Association, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. These five of the country’s top dental associations strive to educate about the importance of protecting our teeth and face against injuries when participating in sports or other activities.