Protect Those Precious Smiles [Giveaway]

I have #BlogHer on the mind. See? I’m even adding the twitter hashtag to a blogpost. Crazy, huh!? As a newbie to BlogHer, I was anxious to soak it all in last year. I wanted to do everything, experience everything, and explore everything. When bloggers spoke of BlogHer, I would hear how much everyone loved the conference. From parties to events to sessions and last-but-not-least swag, I knew that BlogHer was a can’t miss experience.

A month or so before BlogHer the tweets about parties started in earnest. Invites. emails. eventbrite. evite. You name a format of invitation and everyone seemed to be getting it. Except me. I was a first timer at BlogHer. The big parties…the ones everyone talks about…I either didn’t get invited to these parties or I missed the window of opportunity to RSVP for a bunch of fabulous parties. I started to feel down about my potential BlogHer experience. How could I have fun if I wasn’t on the invite list for THE parties?

And then a wonderful thing happened. What was it? Well, I started receiving invites to smaller gatherings. The first invite I received was to Style n Smile. The Style n Smile event was a fashion show hosted by Jennie Garth of 90210 fame on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontics. These smaller gatherings were not the parties that everyone talked about as the hot ticket items of BlogHer, but because of the intimate, relaxed nature of the invites I learned more about the brand, in this case the AAO, and met more people than I would have at a larger party.

Last week I was asked by the American Association of Orthodontics if I would publish some tips on sports and teeth. As a mom of three kids, I know the importance of not only good, thorough dental hygiene, but of the benefits of orthodontia. My Teen just got out of braces. My Tween is in braces. Soon enough my Kid will get his turn at braces, too.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am looking forward to the end of orthodontia for all three children!

Moms and dads need to teach kids good brushing techniques. But, what about protecting those smiles? My children played t-ball, soccer, and basketball. It wasn’t until my Tween started playing lacrosse that we started worrying about teeth. The lacrosse stick and ball seemed very hard. We bought a mouthguard right away. Teeth are too important to leave unprotected.
The AAO recently conducted a survey where they found that only 33% of parents make their children wear mouth guards during organized sports. Recently the AAO put on an event in a California middle school where Mia Hamm (see below for details on a giveaway) was able to talk about the importance of protecting our kids with the use of mouth guards.  To learn more you can visit or view this video of the event.

Tips for Injury Prevention

The American Association of Orthodontists wants you to know that simple and inexpensive protective sports gear – such as mouth guards – can make a difference in preventing sports injuries. Young athletes can protect their face and smile while playing with the following tips from the AAO:
  • Wear a mouth guard. Mouth guards can help prevent jaw, mouth and teeth injuries caused by a collision or fall. For athletes with braces, discuss with your orthodontist the best type of mouth guard for your sport.
  • Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact, and should be worn for activities like biking, skateboarding and in-line skating. Visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website to learn helmet laws in your state.
  • Wear protective eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to injury during sports like soccer, baseball and hockey.
  • Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs and racquetballs can do severe damage.
Also, keep in mind the following:
  • Stretch before and after a game or practice. This can reduce the risk of pulling or straining a muscle.
  • Be observant even as a spectator. Stay alert while watching a game to avoid foul baseballs and flying hockey pucks coming your way.
  • Use good judgment. If an activity carries risk of dental or facial injury, gear up. Without it, a pick-up game of basketball or flag football could result in a trip to the emergency room.

Want to win a Mia Hamm prize pack? I have 1 prize pack to giveaway to one lucky reader of this blog. The prize pack contains: one signed by Mia Hamm Nike Soccer Ball, one kiddie book written by Mia Hamm, and one chapter book biography of Mia Hamm.

How to enter? You know the drill, but if you are new here… You must leave a mandatory comment to be eligible to win the prize. You must include your e-mail in the comment, so that I can contact you if you win. You wouldn’t want to miss a chance to win the prize would you? Once you have left a mandatory comment, you can leave one or more of the optional comments. Leave one comment for each entry.

Mandatory entry

Tell me something active that you do with your kids. Don’t forget to leave your e-mail address.

Optional entries — You must leave the mandatory comment for all other comments to count. Leave a comment for each optional entry.

I was given a prize pack to facilitate my review by the American Association of Orthodontics. The giveaway is open to U.S residents only. Giveaway ends July, 7, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. The views expressed in this post are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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