Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

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Prevention

You can help to prevent jaw fractures by avoiding trauma to your chin and lower face. To do this, you should:

  • Always use seat belts and shoulder harnesses when you ride in a car, even if your car is equipped with airbags. Buckling up will help to protect your facial bones and upper body from dashboard impacts and other injuries.

  • Wear headgear and a mouth guard during contact sports. In addition to protecting your teeth from impacts, mouth guards offer some protection against jaw fractures. Both the thermoplastic "boil-and-bite" models and the custom-made forms are effective.

  • If you are a parent, do not allow your child to participate in amateur boxing. The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the sport of boxing for young people.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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