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National Facial Protection Month – April 2023

National Facial Protection Month takes place in April every year in America. It is sponsored by the American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Academy of Pediatrics. It is a call to action for everyone to stand united in raising awareness about the importance of wearing an athletic mouthguard and face gear. Parents, coaches, and caregivers are encouraged to ensure children and athletes wear protective equipment to prevent sports-related injuries to the head and face such as mouth guards and helmets to avoid injury. Whether at practice, at a game, or simply enjoying some fun in the neighborhood, a sports-related injury can happen in an instant so everyone should stay protected.

History of National Facial Protection Month

Sport is as old as time and with sport comes injury, so we can say that sports injuries are as old as time. Major efforts to prevent them should be made as sports are part of life. It gives so many health benefits ranging from strengthening heart muscles, helping to control weight, making you feel happy with the release of endorphins, getting stronger, and a host of others. Spring often brings a flood of patients suffering from head, mouth, and facial injuries resulting from sports-related accidents to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. Many facial injuries as well as oral injuries can be prevented easily with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouthguards.

An estimated 12 million people aged five to 22 suffer a sport-related injury annually, which leads to 20 million lost days of school and approximately $33 billion in healthcare costs. Lots of these injuries could be prevented with protective gear. This is what National Facial Protection Month aims to achieve — the reduction of facial injuries that could have been avoided with protective gear.

A mouthguard protects against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. According to the American Dental Association, mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200 000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. Athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth than their counterparts. A minor blow to the face can leave you with abrasions and cuts inside your mouth from your soft tissue being pressed against the brackets and wires on your teeth

National Facial Protection Month timeline

1859
The American Dental Association is Founded

The American Dental Association, the country’s largest dental association, is established, representing more than 161,000 dentist members.

1900
The American Association of Orthodontists is Founded

The American Association of Orthodontists, the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization, is established, representing more than 18,000 orthodontist members.

1918
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is established and represents more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons

1947
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the membership organization of the specialty of pediatric dentistry, is established.

1983
The Academy for Sports Dentistry is Established

The Academy for Sports Dentistry is established as a forum for dentists, dental technicians, doctors, coaches, athletic trainers, and educators for sharing ideas about sports dentistry and athletes’ dental needs.

National Facial Protection Month FAQs

What is the most common head injury

The most common head injury is a concussion.

What is National Facial Protection Month about?

It calls to mind the measures that should be taken to protect faces when engaging in sporting activities.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Symptoms may include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue.

How to Observe National Facial Protection Month

  1. Visit a dentist

    Visit a dentist to check your oral health. This helps in detecting any problem that may arise in the future and also checking if you’re fit for some type of sports

  2. Raise awareness

    Raise awareness about the day by sharing posts on social media. This ensures others get to know about the day and be more cautious when engaging in sporting activities.

  3. Play a sport

    Celebrate the day by engaging in a sport, but with protective equipment. This encourages others to do so.

5 Common Head Injuries You Need To Know About

  1. Hematoma

    It is a collection, or clotting, of blood outside the blood vessels.

  2. Hemorrhage

    A hemorrhage means uncontrolled bleeding.

  3. Concussion

    It occurs when an impact on the head is severe enough to cause brain injury.

  4. Edema

    It simply means ‘swelling’ — many injuries cause swelling of the surrounding tissues, but it’s more serious when it occurs in the brain

  5. Skull fracture

    As the skull is very strong and difficult to break, a broken skull means it was unable to absorb the impact of a blow, making it more likely that there’ll also be damage to the brain.

Why National Facial Protection Month is Important

  1. It raises awareness about sports-related injuries

    National Facial Protection Month brings more eyes to the injuries faced during sporting activities. As more awareness is generated, more solutions would be developed to help reduce them.

  2. It helps the economy

    Preventing facial injuries to children helps the economy. If the rising number of injuries that need treatment gets reduced, it boosts the economy as fewer resources are used up.

  3. It protects children’s future

    Many facial injuries can cause long-term damage to a child. As children are encouraged to take up sports, National Facial Protection Month helps in protecting their future by helping them stay protected.

National Facial Protection Month dates

YearDateDay
2023April 1Saturday
2024April 1Monday
2025April 1Tuesday
2026April 1Wednesday
2027April 1Thursday
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