National organizations unite to promote facial safety in April
April 8, 2022
ROSEMONT, Ill. – April is National Facial Protection Month, a national campaign to encourage the use of safety equipment when engaging in collision sports and recreational activities.
Founded by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), three healthcare organizations provide a platform for members to reach out to their communities to encourage being proactive in preventing sports-related injuries to the head and face with the use of safety equipment such as helmets and mouth guards.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a 10-year study found nearly 32 percent of injuries in children occurred during sports activities. The annual costs of all injuries, including orofacial injuries, sustained by young athletes have been estimated to be $500 million. The Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD) estimates these injuries also result in 20 million lost days of school.
One effective and relatively inexpensive piece of protective gear is a mouth guard, especially as children become engaged in contact sports. Athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth if they are not wearing a mouth guard. However, 67 percent of parents admit their child does not wear a mouth guard during organized sports.
To avoid the pain and cost of dental and facial injuries, remember these four tips:
- Mouth guards should be worn in all contact or collision sports.
- Helmets should always be worn when biking and playing football, softball, baseball, lacrosse, and hockey as well as during activities such as skateboarding, riding scooters or other physical activities that pose a risk of concussion. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact.
- Protective eyewear and helmets should be worn per the ASTM International, an organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus standards.
- Be alert, even as a spectator. Alert spectators can avoid foul baseballs and flying hockey pucks.
Visit these cosponsor websites for more information and resources:
- The Academy for Sports Dentistry was established in 1983 as a forum for dentists, doctors, athletic trainers, coaches, dental technicians and educators to advance sports dentistry and improve and protect athletes’ dental and oral health.
- Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is the membership organization of the specialty of pediatric dentistry with approximately 10,500 members.
- Established in 1918, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons represents more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons and supports its fellows and members through education, research and advocacy.
About National Facial Protection Month
National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Visit the websites for more information and materials.