Randolph, NJ -Each April the dental community joins together to promote National Facial Protection month. It is the perfect time of year to bring attention to how important it is to protect your teeth, gum and full mouth from injury during all the spring sports.

When it comes to dental injuries, sport related activities account for an estimated 39% during the spring months. A simple way to limit the risk of oral injury, especially while undergoing orthodontic treatment, it is always wear protective facial and mouth gear, such as a mouth guard, when engaging in organized or recreational sports.

"It is important that adult and children athletes and coaches to play it safe by wearing mouth guards and appropriate protective gear when participating in activities that could cause injuries," said Randolph-based orthodontist Dr. Richard Newman, a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). "Many sports injuries can be prevented by wearing appropriate protective gear."

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Mouth guards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. Over-the-counter mouth guards cost as little as $5 and can protect teeth and jaws, but they only provide protection when they are worn.

Dr. Newman advises parents and coaches to remind youngsters to always use a mouth guard when participating in any activity during which the mouth could come into contact with a hard object or the pavement. "Athletes who wear braces should consult their orthodontist for a recommendation of the best mouth guard to wear during orthodontic treatment," said Dr. Newman.

Consistent use of other protective equipment is important, too. Helmets save lives and prevent head injuries. They should be worn for activities such as bicycling, skateboarding or skating on in-line skates. Helmet wear is mandated for many organized sports. Face guards, devices made of plastic or metal that attach to baseball helmets, help to prevent facial injuries as well.

Dr. Newman is chief orthodontist for the Regional Craniofacial Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center. As a member of this interdisciplinary team, Dr. Newman volunteers his time providing care for individuals suffering from cleft lip and palate problems.

Dr. Newman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he currently serves as chairman of the Morris County Alumni Interviewing Committee for the department of admissions. He graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where he received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine with top honors and was elected to the prestigious Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honor society. Dr. Newman received his specialty certificate in orthodontics from Columbia University in New York.

Bringing extensive clinical experience to children and adults, Dr. Richard Newman is an Invisalign® Preferred Provider and continually strives to improve technology and tools through innovation and research. He has had several articles published in many journals, including the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Here in Randolph, Dr Newman has maintained his orthodontic practice for 20 years, having served on the Randolph Township Board of Health and sponsoring several Randolph sports teams. Dr. Newman has also been a key sponsor for Randolph Education Foundation, including the Randolph Rocks 5K Race and the Randolph Rock Stars Celebration.

For more information, visit Dr. Newman‘s website at http://www.newmanortho.com/life-with-braces or call 973-366-6804

National Facial Protection Month is co-sponsored annually by the American Association of Orthodontists, the oldest and largest dental specialty organization in the world, and by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry and the American Dental Association.

Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call themselves "orthodontists," and only orthodontists are eligible for membership in the AAO. The AAO’s website is www.mylifemysmile.org.