Horizon Health Care’s eight dental locations across South Dakota offer $10, custom-fit mouthguards to any student athlete including those attending college.
The mouthguards are available year-round to patients throughout the Horizon Health Care system.
“Mouthguards can be fit in minutes to protect your smile,” said Horizon’s Chief Dental Officer Michelle Scholtz, DDS. “We want our patients to have a safe, healthy athletic season.”
Mouthguards help protect the teeth, but more importantly, they can help prevent the injuries that lead to concussions. Approximately one third of all dental injuries are sports related.
Trauma to the lower jaw causes pressure on the base of the skull leading to a possible concussion. A custom-fit, appropriately made mouthguard reduces that pressure as well as reducing the risk of teeth and jaw injuries.
According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety, an athlete Is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard. Mouthguards and faceguards prevent an estimated 200,000 high school and college football injuries.
Repeated blows to the jaw and chin during contact sports cause a concussive vibration in the skull, which contains nerves that affect hearing, balance and the brain’s blood supply, according to Dentistry Today. Fluid inside the skull cushions the brain but cannot protect from violent impact that can rotate the brain in the skull, causing concussion. The mouth guard helps to diffuse these blows while also protecting the teeth.
Concussions have three grades. The first is minor. Once a player is free of symptoms he or she can return to play. Grade two will pull the student athlete out of competition for that day and require follow-up treatment. The third grade could result in an ambulance ride if the player remains unconscious, as well as follow-up appointments, and a two-week break in athletic participation.
Custom-fit mouthguards, such as those provided by Horizon, are the most effective in preventing concussion. They provide maximum protection of all teeth, take the patient’s dental history into consideration, and may be designed for specific sports.
Contact your local Horizon dental provider to get one of the mouthguards and schedule an adolescent wellness check at one of Horizon’s medical clinics.
About Horizon Health Care, Inc.
For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and behavioral healthcare through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental healthcare needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information, please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.