Spring is here, and Spring Sports are underway.Since April is National Facial Protection Month, we thought we would share a few words of wisdom about why you should wear protective gear when playing sports.

First and foremost, fashion. You look cool doing it! OK, maybe not, but you look much cooler than you would with missing front teeth. Don’t believe us? Ask your mom to see your first-grade school pictures, you will see what we mean. It is really important to protect your face and head when participating in sports. The injuries caused by a ball, puck, or elbow to the face can be devastating, and can often result in a lifetime of oral health issues. Plus, medical bills are expensive! Here are a few easy and affordable things you can get to keep yourself or your kids safe:

Helmets- Wear one! This should be a no brainer. But, just in case you like to use your brain, you should probably protect it. If you are involved in a collision or hit your head, the helmet will absorb a lot of the energy of impact instead of your skull and your brain. And not all helmets are created equal. Make sure you have the right one for the job! When in doubt, we recommend full body armor. Just kidding….we do recommend asking your coach or your local sporting goods store, they should be able to help you figure out the best helmet for your activity.

Face masks – Fun fact: In high school softball the pitcher is only 40 feet away from home plate, that is 20 feet closer than in baseball. Some of those powerhouse pitchers are hurling the ball at speeds of over 70 mph, and if the batter gets a hit, the ball is traveling at twice that speed back at them!!!! Let’s FACE it, you don’t want to get hit with that ball. But if you did, your mask would sure help you save FACE….ok, we know, you get the point.

Mouth guards – Does the thought of a mouth guard have you feeling like Rocky Balboa? While you search for “Eye Of The Tiger” on your playlist, we have a few other reasons for you to consider investing in one. A mouth guard is inexpensive and can help prevent jaw, mouth, and teeth injuries caused by a collision, or blow to the face. At North Seattle Orthodontics we can take impressions for our patients to make you a custom mouth guard. If you are currently in braces or Invisalign with us, we recommend getting a boil and bite mouth guard at your local drug store to keep you protected while your smile is under construction. In most cases, they can be boiled and refitted along the way as your teeth are changing position. Not sure which one to use? Call or email us to ask which is the best choice for you.

These are just a few of the options available, there are many more forms of personal protection available for athletes. We want you all to stay healthy and safe, and don’t forget to have fun out there!

-North Seattle Orthodontics