Mouth guards donated to Knoxville high school football teams

Mouth guards donated to Knoxville high school football teams

Posted:
Bearden High's mouth guards aren't the generic kind other teams may use. They are custom made by Knoxville dentist Stephen Malone. Bearden High's mouth guards aren't the generic kind other teams may use. They are custom made by Knoxville dentist Stephen Malone.
Dr. Stephen Malone says getting the proper fit makes all the difference in safety and comfort. Dr. Stephen Malone says getting the proper fit makes all the difference in safety and comfort.
Players say the mouthpieces feel more substantial than the ones they used to wear. Players say the mouthpieces feel more substantial than the ones they used to wear.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  High school football season is just underway, and two teams in the Knoxville area are benefiting from some donated devices designed to help them keep their healthy smiles.

It's a good thing, too.

The American Dental Association says a third of all dental emergencies happen on the football field and other venues associated with contact sports.

That's why mouth guards are mandatory for hard hitting sports like football.

At Bearden High School's first game of the season, no player went without one.

The team's mouth guards aren't the generic kind other teams may use. They are custom made by Knoxville dentist Stephen Malone.

He says getting the proper fit makes all the difference in safety and comfort.

"If you buy one from the store, " Dr. Malone says, "they're all pre-made and it's one size fits everybody. And sometimes it's one size doesn't fit anybody very well."

So, Dr. Malone and his office decided to donate properly fitting mouth guards to every player on the Bearden and Farragut football teams, 126 in all.

Each player came to the office, and had dental impressions made, which were then turned into models of their teeth and fitted with the mouth guards.

These types of dental devices can cost up to $150 each.

It's a sizable donation, and everyone involved is thankful.

"It worked out real well, gave a lot of money and invested in doing this for us," as Farragut's head football coach Eddie Courtney explained.

Players say the mouthpieces feel more substantial than the ones they used to wear.

Farragut senior Landon Foody said, "anytime you get hit in the head or under the chin or anything, you always slam your jaw up and with this, I mean, you don't feel anything."

Another Farragut senior, Alex Gilliam, said, "I really haven't felt like my teeth have been jolted a lot, haven't really been hurting."

As Dr. Malone explains, "When you have something that can cushion that blow, it's not only good for the teeth, it's good for the joints, it's good for the muscles, and it's good for the shock of that impact."

A study of high school athletes found that 75 percent of injuries happen when mouth guards aren't in place.

If your child plays sports, and you're interested in a custom fitted mouth guard, be sure to check with your dentist, who may be able to work with you on an affordable price.

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