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Mouthguards are essential and now that April is here, it is time to recognize National Face Protection Awareness month. Thanks to the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, more people are becoming aware of National Face Protection during the month of April.

Mouthguards, helmets and face shields are just as important as other sports equipment and if you and your family do not wear custom-made mouthguards, you could be asking for trouble.

There are three types of mouthguards, stock, boil and bite and custom-made. Although stock, and boil and bite do essentially the same thing as custom-made mouthguards provided by your dentist, they may prove to be uncomfortable and ill fitting. These types of mouth protectors may also make it difficult to breathe and talk, which means that some may decide to leave a stock or boil and bite mouthguard at home or in the gym locker.

It is estimated that more than 12 million people between five and 22 will have a sports related injury at some point. Sadly, some of the sports injuries could have been prevented if the participant had worn protective headgear including a properly fitted mouthguard.

Mouthguards are commonplace when it comes to contact sports such as hockey, football, basketball, baseball, and soccer, but should also be worn if you and your family like to go bike riding or surfing. People who play tennis or racquetball should also schedule an appointment with their dentist for a custom-made mouthguard. In fact, you could benefit by wearing a mouthguard for most recreational sporting activities including water polo, gymnastics, martial arts, field hockey, and even volleyball.

Mouthguards will give you a resilient and protective surface that actually distributes and dissipates the force on impact helping to minimize the seriousness of an injury to soft or hard tissue. When you wear a custom-made mouthguard, you are helping prevent injuries to the inside of your cheeks, your tongue, mouth, gums, and teeth.

Get you and your family together for National Face Protection Awareness month and schedule appointments for everyone with your dentist today.