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April is National Facial Protection Month

Five of the nation’s top dental associations, including The Academy of Sports Dentistry, American Dental Association, and American Pediatric Dentistry Association, want to remind everyone to play it safe during recreational and organized sports to help prevent serious facial and dental injuries that can take the fun out of the game.

“A properly fitted mouth guard is an essential piece of any athlete’s protective equipment,” says Dr. Paul Nativi, DMD, FASD, and past president of The Academy for Sports Dentistry. “Mouth guards protect the teeth from being knocked out, broken and displaced. Mouth guards prevent injuries to the bone and tissues around the teeth. They also help prevent injuries to the mandible (lower jaw) and temporomandibular joint in the jaw. Tooth loss incurs a tremendous financial, emotional, and psychological expense. Protect what you have — wear a properly fitted mouth guard.”

At Knoxville Smiles, Drs. Malone and Dickenson encourage parents to make a small investment in a custom mouth guard that properly fits and is most appropriate for their child’s stage of development and sports activities. If your child already has a mouth guard, make an appointment to have us check its fit and appropriateness for each new season of the year. If your son or daughter is in orthodontics, it is still important that a custom mouth guard be worn during sports and even recommended for boating, where many accidental facial and dental injuries occur. Adults are no exception, so if you are involved in sports, keep in mind a properly fitted mouth guard should be part of your sports equipment.