If you or a loved one are part of the 95 percent of Americans who engage in a sport, not only are you having fun, but you’re also doing something positive for your health. From increasing blood flow to lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and more, playing a sport can also help with weight management. Sports are even good for your mental health – and a great way to expand your social network. With so many different sports to choose from, some activities don’t have a whole lot in common with each other, but there’s one thing that all sports have in common: When playing a sport – any sport – you should always protect your teeth. Every single time, for every single sport.
This April we celebrate National Facial Protection Month, sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) to raise awareness of the dangers of facial and oral injuries, especially during sports. Did you know that, according to AAOMS, children between the ages of 7 and 11 are at the highest risk for facial injury during sports of any age group? Or that an estimated 5 million teeth are either injured or knocked out completely each year and cost around $500 million each year to treat? The sad truth is many of those injuries were entirely preventable by simply wearing protective gear!
Protective gear isn’t just a mouth guard, either. It includes helmets with face savers, too. What is a face saver, exactly? Well, it’s a guard that is attached to the front of a helmet to protect the face. In some helmets, such as football and baseball, face savers are open grids, which allows for breathability while still keeping the ball from making contact with the face. The open design is especially important while playing in the hot sun. For other sports like hockey, a full face saver may assist in protecting the face from both falls on the ice and a narrow hockey puck hitting the face.
Why is a face saver so important? Because a full 10 percent of all cheekbone fractures are sports related! But remember, even with a face saver, you still need to wear that mouth guard.
If you or your child play a sport, speak to Dr. Abelar about getting a custom mouth guard. Custom mouth guards are more comfortable than boil-and-bite guards, which means you or your child will be more likely to wear them – and more likely to prevent a dental or facial injury while playing sports.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call (858) 866-9692.