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April is National Facial Protection Month

Published on April 03, 2020

The goal of National Facial Protection Month is to raise public awareness and remind parents, coaches, and athletes to play it safe while playing sports. 

Dr. Mario Chorak and his team would like to take the time this month to remind our athletes to wear a mouth guard during recreational and organized sports. 

A mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. Mouth guards prevent injuries to the bone and tissues around the teeth. They also help prevent injuries to the lower jaw. A mouth guard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, which will help you avoid injuries to your gums and cheeks. A properly fitted mouth guard may be especially important for people who wear braces. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. 

Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury during sports. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech. There are three types of mouth guards: 

Stock mouth guards come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit. 

Boil and bite mouth guards can also be purchased at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth guards. The "boil and bite" mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. 

Custom-fitted mouth guards are individually designed and made in the orthodontic office. Dr. Chorak will make an impression of your teeth and then mold the mouth guard over the model using a special material. Custom-made mouth guards provide the most comfort and protection.

Mouth guards aren’t required for every sport, so it can be easy to forget about wearing them. But, did you know…it’s estimated that over 3 million teeth are knocked out every year in kids’ sports?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouth guard. Mouth guards help prevent chipped, broken, and knocked out teeth. They protect your lips, tongue, face, and also help redistribute forces from a blow to the head.  

Who Needs a Mouth guard? 
Mouth guards should be used by anyone playing contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, and ice hockey. However, even people participating in non-contact sports or any recreational activities that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard. 

If you're an athlete and a patient of Dr. Mario Chorak, talk to him about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the right protection for you. For more information give us a call at our Fairwood or Mercer Island offices. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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