In commemoration of National Facial Protection Month in April, Dentistry of the Carolinas is encouraging parents to help guard their kids against sports injuries.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the seven million sports and recreation-related injuries that occur each year are sustained by youth between ages 5 and 24.
“Proper facial protection gear is imperative for people of all ages,” said Clark Hammock, DMD, P.A., executive vice president/C.B.O. of Dentistry of the Carolinas. “While the gear needed will vary on activity, mouthguards – and in particular custom mouthguards – are a premium piece of sports equipment and should be used anytime you participate in sports. We want people to protect their smiles.”
Dentistry of the Carolinas offers the following tips for using and maintaining mouthguards:
- After use, rinse mouthguards in cold, soapy water. If an odor develops, they may also be rinsed with mouthwash. Clean and dry your mouth guard and store it in a plastic container.
- Mouthguards may distort under higher temperatures, so they should not be stored in direct sunlight, left in a car on a hot day, or placed in hot water to disinfect.
- With repeated use, buildup is common. Use a denture-cleaning tablet to freshen up your mouthguard, following the instructions on the package. Rinse and dry after soaking. Do not use bleach to clean your mouthguard.
- Make sure to keep your storage case clean and dry also.
- Bring your mouthguard to your dentist during regular dental cleaning appointments for evaluation and necessary adjustments.
- Youth athletes should replace their guard every six to 12 months (or at least each sports season). Developmental changes in the mouth can affect the fit of the mouthguard and make it uncomfortable to wear and less protective.
- An adult mouthguard can last several years, depending on the frequency of use, the care of the mouthguard, and if the mouthguard has been torn or bitten through, in which case it should be replaced.
- Questions about which mouthguard to select? Ask your dentist.
National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists.
About Dentistry of the Carolinas
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Dentistry of the Carolinas is a family-owned and –operated company that specializes in General Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, and Sports Dentistry. What began as a single, general dentistry practice in 1992 has grown into 13 general and multi-specialty offices in and around Charlotte that provide excellent, accessible, and affordable care to patients. Visit https://dentistryofthecarolinas.com.