Play it safe with the Ontario Association of Orthodontists

Did you know sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits for 12 to 17 year olds? Baseball, soccer, basketball, football and hockey account for about 80% of all emergency room visits. One out of every four parents says their child has sustained a sports injury resulting in a trip to the emergency room. Unfortunately, many young athletes are not wearing the proper protective gear during recreational and organized sports. Parents, coaches and kids need to understand the prevalence of sports injuries, especially to the jaw and mouth. Wearing mouth guards is a simple solution to avoiding trips to the emergency room!

Mouth guards are one of the least expensive protective equipment options available. Over-the-counter versions may cost as little as $5, although custom-fit mouth guards offer greater protection. Mouth guards can help prevent jaw, mouth and teeth injuries caused by collisions in contact sports. For an athlete with braces, your orthodontist can recommend the best type of mouth guard for your son or daughter.

Pat Smith, wife of football great Emmitt Smith, along with moms across the U.S. and Canada is promoting sport safety to protect kids from preventable sports injuries. Join the team and take the Moms For Mouth Guards pledge! By doing so, you let coaches, players and other parents know that keeping a healthy smile starts with sport safety.

With every pledge, the AAO will donate funds to The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), to promote sport safety and buy mouth guards for young athletes in need. The pledge is free and could save a child’s game-winning smile!

This is information is brought to you by the Ontario Association of Orthodontists. Only orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Find a member of the Ontario Association of Orthodontists at http://oao.on.ca, or ask your dentist for a referral.

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