Protecting the Pearly Whites - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Protecting the Pearly Whites

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We're into August now and that means full-contact high school football practices can begin, but full-contact means more risk of injury, which is why newer safety technology is constantly created.

Concussions have become the center of a lot of debate in high school athletics, but so have ways of preventing them.

Helmets and other equipment have come a long way to provide as much protection as possible.

Those new technologies often come with very high price tags though.

Custom mouth guards have been shown to reduce risk of concussion significantly, but just one of them can cost nearly $100 to purchase and have fit.

That's why Dr. Angela Canfield has decided to create the Canfield Mouth-Shield program.

Each year she will select one sports team to donate the mouth guards to completely free of charge.

And this year, she selected the Benedictine football team.

"It's really nice to have people do that and it's going to be good for the kids," says BC athletic director and head football coach, Danny Britt. "Giving them extra protection not only for their teeth but also concussions."

"It puts fluid around the joint so upon impaction it gives you the most protection," says Dr. Canfield. "It's also got a few features it's got a safety release on the strap that hooks to the helmet and it's got some holes for breathability."

The American Dental Association estimates the use of mouth guards prevents about 200,000 injuries per year in high school and college football teams alone.

Any school can sign up to be considered for next year's donations.

Applications for the 2015 Canfield Mouth-Shield Team should be submitted to Dr. Canfield’s office and must be submitted before June 1, 2015 to be considered by the advisory board.

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