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Sports Dentistry - Education and Prevention: Play it Right!

Course Number: 679

Face Shields

Protective face shields, or facemasks, are recommended to prevent injuries to the face and mouth but they can also be used as a protective device while recovering from an injury. Face shields can reduce injuries to the teeth, mouth, eyes, nose, and bones of the face.14

Studies have shown that upper facial injuries were observed to be less common among players wearing face shields. After the NHL mandated face shields, there were significant decreases in the mean number of craniomaxillofacial and upper facial injuries per season.14,15

Face shields can be used in conjunction with mouthguards to provide extra protection to the teeth and mouth, especially after a previous injury where the teeth are extremely vulnerable Face shields come in a variety of formats. They are often used attached to a helmet that is specifically designed for certain sports - such as American football, ice hockey, lacrosse etc.16,17 Face shields can also be worn independently - such as for basketball and softball fielders.

ce679 - Images - Figure 3

Figure 3. Photographic depictions of an improperly (A) worn helmet and face shield. Notice the gap between the chin and the chin cup, loose side and chin straps and missing temporal vertical force clips. A properly worn (B) helmet and face shield. Notice the chin cup is positioned against the chin and all the straps are tight. Vertical force clips in the temple region help to reduce forces upwards into the chin.

Source: Wiley – Dental Traumatology