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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Raise Awareness About the Importance of Facial Protection

ROSEMONT, Ill., April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Facial trauma is a too frequent occurrence in sports activities from cycling to volleyball, and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) hopes to raise awareness of this issue by introducing on March 31, a congressional resolution (H. Res. 1062) to designate April 2008 as National Facial Protection Month.

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An estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out each year during sports activities and athletes participating in contact sports have a 10% chance of sustaining a significant oral-facial injury each session and are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouth guard. Approximately, one-third of all dental injuries and approximately 19% of all head and face injuries are sports-related.

H. Res. 1062 asks the House to declare it critical to raise public awareness about the importance of using proper dental and facial protection during sporting activities and the need to conduct additional research to study the effectiveness of intervention programs that encourage use of helmets, facemasks, and mouth guards. The resolution also calls on sports healthcare professionals, parents and coaches to educate athletes about the importance of protective equipment and to encourage the use of all protective devices to ensure the athlete's safety. It further recommends using protective equipment that meets the standards of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and is clearly identified as being in compliance.

AAOMS members worked with Congresswoman McCarthy on the introduction of this important resolution and will seek support for it during their April 16th Day on the Hill in Washington, DC.

Saving Faces, Changing Lives -- The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the professional organization representing more than 8,500 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supports its fellows' and members' ability to practice their specialty through education, research and advocacy. AAOMS fellows and members comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and submit to periodic office examinations, ensuring the public that all office procedures and personnel meet stringent national standards.

SOURCE American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons
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