Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 9:08 am | Fair 64º

 
 
 
 

Local Orthodontists Provide Custom Mouth Guards for Local Athletes

Sports-related dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injuries. Approximately one third of all dental injuries occur during athletic activities.

The majority of these dental injuries are preventable by just wearing a custom-made protective mouth guard.

Athletes have a 60 times greater chance of sustaining damage to his or her teeth when not wearing a protective mouth guard.

Mouth guards not only save athletes their pearly whites but also help prevent injuries to their tongue, lips and cheeks and provide protection to the head against a blow to the jaw that can result in concussion and loss of consciousness.

While both adults and children may acknowledge these facts, repeated surveys show that compliance rates for mouth guard usage — during both practice and games — is shockingly low.

The primary reason for abstaining from mouth-guard use is discomfort, and players often have trouble breathing and speaking with the typical store-bought, home-fitted mouth guard.

Additionally, the cost can be prohibitive. A custom made mouth guard can range from $400-$600.

Local orthodontist Dr. Andrew Ferris, an avid athlete himself, knew this to be the case from both his personal and professional experience, and in 2012 he began a mouth guard program to protect Santa Barbara’s athletes from sports-related orofacial injuries.

The program mainly consists of local schools bringing their sports teams in to his office. After completing an oral examination for each player to ensure dental health, Ferris then takes a mold of each athlete’s mouth from which he and his staff fabricate a custom pressure, laminated, multiple layer mouth guard for each player.

The mouth guards are even made in the team’s colors with the team name on the front. The best part of all is that both the exam and the mouth guards are free.

Since Ferris’ initiated the program, other local orthodontists and dental health professionals have begun to provide the same service.

“I couldn’t be happier with the program’s success,” Ferris says. “We are keeping our community’s athletes safe. And the fact that we have instigated some change and sparked other professionals in town to provide the same service is awesome. The more people looking out for the health of Santa Barbara’s athletes, the better.”

To date, Kubisch and Ferris Orthodontics has donated over 2,000 mouth guards to community sports teams.

They love being able to support the community, be part of the team and keep athletes safe. They plan to continue providing quality mouth guards to Santa Barbara’s sports teams and will contribute their resources to make for a successful season.

If you think your team could benefit from custom-fit mouth guards, contact Kubisch and Ferris Orthodontics at 805.687.7417.

Michelle Restivo​ represents Kubisch and Ferris Orthodontics.

 

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