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April is National Facial Protection Month, and VanderWall Orthodontics wants to remind athletes and their parents and coaches to play it safe when suiting up for recreational and organized sports. Remember to wear your mouth guard to preserve your teeth, whether at practice, at a game, or playing in the neighborhood.

  • The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year.
    The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events in 2014. They also say that athletes who do not wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth.
  • In a recent survey, the American Association of Orthodontists found that 70 percent of parents said their biggest fear is that their child will get hurt while playing organized sports, yet 67 percent admitted that their child does NOT wear a mouth guard during organized sports including football, basketball, soccer and lacrosse.
  • Using a mouth guard is a simple way to prevent or lessen the severity of oral injuries. Please remember to use the “braces friendly” mouth guard given you to by VanderWall Orthodontics, instead of the boil-and-bite style that can damage your braces. Please ask a Team Member if you have any questions.


The Team at VanderWall Orthodontics

Dr. Clay VanderWall

Author Dr. Clay VanderWall

Dr. VanderWall attended Kalamazoo College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences. He spent a semester doing research at the Dental Research Center of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he wrote his Senior Individualized Project (SIP). He furthered his studies at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Dentistry, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1999. He graduated with honors and was inducted into the national dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). He also received the Pierre Fauchard Academy Student Award and was a recipient of the Health Professions Scholarship from the United States Navy.

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