Injuries to the face and mouth are one of the top sports injuries. Please remember that a dental injury is painful, permanent and costly. Fortunately, most injuries can be prevented by wearing an athletic mouthguard. A mouthguard is a soft, plastic appliance that fits over the teeth and can fit around your braces. When a properly designed mouthguard is worn, the teeth, lips, cheek and jaws are protected. The American Dental Association estimates that mouthguards prevent nearly 200,000 injuries each year in high school and college sports alone. Sports mouthguards are required for high-contact sports such as football, baseball and hockey. But what many people don't realize is that the majority of mouth injuries occur in children between the ages of 7 and 14, often while participating in common activities such as rollerblading, skate boarding or bike riding. Mouthguards should be worn in all activities where there is a risk of falling or head contact.