e-mail Print Share

National Facial Protection Month in April

March 17, 2014

April is National Facial Protection Month, a time during which the ADA encourages dentists to emphasize to patients the importance of protective gear for sports and other activities that might result in facial and dental injuries.

The ADA has joined the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Academy for Sports Dentistry in supporting National Facial Protection Month.

"Every year about 3 million people are treated in emergency departments across the U.S. for facial trauma injuries," said Dr. Eric T. Geist, president of American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. "These may include injuries to the skin, jaw, nose, eye socket or teeth and other areas of the head and neck. Children who participate in contact sports, cheerleading, gymnastics, cycling and other activities are especially at risk for a facial injury."

The partner organizations celebrate National Facial Protection Month to highlight the need for proper supervision and appropriate protective gear, such as mouthguards and helmets, when children and adults of all ages participate in these activities, Dr. Geist said.

Dentists can advise their active patients to wear mouthguards, helmets, protective eyewear and face shields when appropriate.

"Spring seems to bring an increase in dental trauma," said Dr. Paul Nativi, a past president of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. "Skateboards, bicycles, swing sets and other recreational activities along with team sports can contribute to sport-related facial injuries. We, as dentists, need to be prepared to deliver the best treatment possible."

The ADA offers a variety of resources that dentists can use during National Facial Protection Month, including the Sports Safety (W510) brochure, a six-panel handout highlighting the essential role mouthguards play in helping prevent mouth and jaw injuries. It covers how to find a guard that fits, how to take care of the appliance and considerations for patients with orthodontia. The patient education tool also drives home the point that the best guard is one custom-made by your dentist and includes a list of dental emergency procedures to tear off and save.

A pack of 50 brochures is available to members for $26 and $39 retail.

Handling Your Child's Dental Emergency (W147) also is available. Dentists can give it to parents to help them handle children's dental emergencies quickly and calmly. The brochure covers what to do when a child's tooth is knocked out, an object is caught between teeth, a toothache occurs, a jaw appears to be broken and more.

A pack of 100 brochures is $29 for members and $43.50 retail.

For a limited time, save 15 percent on all patient education and personalized products with promo code 14118. Offer expires April 30. Order today at adacatalog.org or by calling 1-800-947-4746.

MouthHealthy, the ADA's consumer-friendly dental website, also has information and resources on facial protection and mouthguards.

Other handouts and links that dentists can use to mark National Facial Protection Month are available at AAOMS.org.