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I Song Orthodontics would like to call a timeout. If you’re out being active, we tip our hats off to you. More and more studies are proving a link to good oral health and good overall health, as our mouths are open doors for all sorts of bacteria and other contaminants that can travel to vital organs of our body. Part of having great oral health is practicing good preventive dentistry, which is the reason why we’ve decided to honor National Facial Protection Month and talk about some of the ways that you can protect your face and teeth while engaging in athletic activities.

It’s important to play it safe, and it’s important to respect the other players out there, whether they’re your teammates or part of the opposing team. Recreational and organized sports put participants at risk for painful facial injuries that can take you out of more than just the game.

Take heed to a few safety tips:

Make sure you pack your mouth guards.

The great thing about these protective oral appliances is that you can discreetly wear them during every sport. You wouldn’t know it, but basketball is an example of one of the most physical sports. Basketball is king of the hill as far as sports with the most missing teeth occurrences. Mouth guards will save you money that you’d spend in costly reparations down the road. No matter if you’re playing baseball, touch football, or field hockey, it’s a good idea to pack a mouth guard.

Make sure that you have 20/20 vision on the court and on the field.

If your vision is compromised, due to a condition with your vision that you have to live with, or if your vision gets impaired during play, it’s important to take a time out. Make sure to pack prescription Protective Eyewear if you have vision problems. Take a time out if you got something in your eye. Your eyes are extremely vulnerable parts of your body to damage, and we take them for granted every day. Don’t find out the hard way, especially when participating in sports.

Wear a face mask or a face shield.

If you’re playing stick sports like hockey and baseball, or contact-heavy sports like football (essentially, any sport that requires you to wear a helmet), it’s important to protect your face. This is the core function of a face mask.

Take it easy out there.

Take care of each other. If you’re playing a pickup game at the gym, or if you’re involved in an organized league, have fun out there. There’s no reason to be overly intense and let the heat of competition let you lose your head or get out of hand. Be respectful of everyone out there.

Be Aware of Injuries

Injuries can happen at any stage in the game. It can happen to an adult who takes part in a softball league for their work, or it can happen to a kid waywardly dangling from the monkey bars. It can happen to a skateboarder or a snowboarder.

Be aware of the higher risk sports and activities. Boxing, wrestling, football, all the higher contact sports are expected to be dangerous, so usually participants wear mandatory safety gear. It’s more under-the-radar sports that pose a more significant threat. Basketball is a big risk. Extreme sports are a risk as well. We’re not telling you not to engage in such activities. We’d just like you to know what you’re getting into. If you do experience a dental emergency, contact I Song Orthodontics today.