With students preparing to return to school – and take part in school athletics – it’s a good time to remind parents and young people about the importance of mouth guards for athletes of all ages.
Dr. M. Scott Runnels, with offices in Destin and Panama City Beach, is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists which promotes the use of mouth guards, especially for those who wear braces or are undergoing orthodontic care.
Mouth guards are inexpensive and typically sell for around $5. Dr. Runnels and his staff can help patients obtain mouth guards that will protect the work that has been done as they move toward healthier and more attractive teeth.
The AAO recommends mouth guards for everyone who plays sports or enjoys biking and other athletic activities. Mouth guards have long been used by football players, but other athletes should use them as well.
Numerous injuries can be prevented by wearing the correct protective gear, and Dr. Runnels and other AAO orthodontists want parents and coaches to know that young people need to wear a mouth guard during any activity in which the mouth might be struck by a hard object or hit the pavement.
Making sure children wear mouth guards at all times is essential. One play without the device could be the one play that leads to serious injury.
Mouth guards are not the only equipment athletes need to stay protected.
Helmets help save lives and prevent serious head injuries that can be debilitating.
The AAO recommends helmets be worn during:
- In-line skating.
Face guards, usually made of plastic or metal attached to baseball helmets, also help protect players.
Professional athletes use mouth guards.
Pitcher Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks wears a mouth guard on the mound and has worked with the AAO to promote use of mouth guards and better facial safety and equipment in sports.
So whether your sport is football, soccer, field hockey or cycling, remember to use mouth guards, helmets and other equipment to keep your mouth, teeth and face safe.
It may save your life.