With the start of the new school year, Vancouver dentist Dr. Bowyer is giving away free mouth guards to student-athletes. “Every year, I treat children with chipped or breaking teeth from their student activities, which can easily be prevented with consistent use of a mouth guard,” says Dr. Bowyer.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that more than three million teeth and over would be knocked out each year without the use of mouth guards. This includes preventing over 200,000 serious dental injuries. Student athletes are over 60 times more likely to suffer a dental injury when not using a mouth guard. The most common injuries are flying elbows to the mouths, and impact from sports equipment. Traditional contact sports, such as football, boxing, and martial arts require mouth guards. Mouth guards should also be used in non-contact sports, including basketball, baseball, soccer, and wrestling.
Likewise, mouth guards help protect athletes from concussions. Upon impact, a mouth guard helps an athlete clench the jaw muscles, thereby helping to stabilize the skull and neck. Mouth guards distribute and dissipate the force of an impact, minimizing the severity of traumatic injury to the head and soft tissue.
Finally, a common mistake students make with mouth guards is infrequent replacement and sanitization. Unsanitary mouth guards increase the intensity of mouth cuts and abrasions, increasing chances of infection from bacteria, yeast, and fungi that mouth guards routinely collect. Also, mouth guards should be replaced regularly, or when edges become sharp or jagged, or if the mouth guard no long fits and promotes oral irritation.
“I can not stress enough the importance of athletes wearing a mouth guard, especially for those wearing braces” says Dr. Bowyer. “Parents should consider a mouth guard as mandatory safety equipment.”
From Sept. 4th to Sept 30th (M-TH), Dr. Boywer is providing these free mouth guards to anyone who stops by his office – children and adults alike. Dr. Bowyer’s office is located at 300 SE 120th Ave, Suite 700, Vancouver, WA 98683, 360-253-2640.
About Dr. Bowyer: Dr. Bowyer is a Vancouver native. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, and a dentistry degree from the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. After completing his second year, Dr. Bowyer was one of two students selected to participate in an honors program at the 5th Avenue Manhattan Dental Clinic. Dr. Bowyer has taught at Clark College School of Hygiene, and has taught as an assistant to 1-3 year dental students. Dr. Bowyer has been awarded from the Academy of General Dentistry and honored by Columbia University as the Best General Practitioner in his class. Dr. Bowyer is a member of the American Dental Association, Washington State Dental Society, American Academy of General Dentistry, AAOI (Academy of Osseointegration) and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.