Ann Arbor, MI — June 4, 2015 — Amateur athletes who will participate in sports this fall and winter should plan to have a free customized mouth guard made for them at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
On Saturday, July 11, amateur athletes ages 5 and older are invited to be fitted for their free mouth guard. Children who wear braces are also welcome. The School of Dentistry is located on the Central Campus at 1011 N. University Avenue.
It is not necessary to make an appointment. Registration for the program begins at 8:15 a.m. From 9:00 a.m. until noon, dental and dental hygiene students, supervised by clinical faculty members, will make mouth guards for the first 100 student athletes who are registered.
A brief medical history and consent form must be filled out by each student athlete or a parent or guardian if the student athlete is not 18 years old. After the form is completed, the athlete will be assigned a number and called in numerical order. Depending on the size of the crowd, the wait time may be 30 minutes.
Each athlete will be greeted by a dental or dental hygiene student and asked to choose the color of their mouth guard and if they wish to have a strap attached. It will take about two hours to make, fit and have the mouth guard checked by the student or faculty member.
A customized mouth guard is an important piece of equipment for athletes of all ages says Dr. Kenneth May, associate professor of dentistry. “Custom mouth guards made by our dental and dental hygiene students are comfortable to wear and more likely to be used than one purchased at a store,” he said. In addition, a customized fit helps to blunt the force of impact caused by contact or falls. May added that a properly fitting mouth guard helps protect teeth and minimizes injuries to the mouth and other vital structures as a result of a blow to the head or body.
Free parking for the clinic will be available at the Fletcher Street parking facility. To avoid paying a fee for parking, parents or guardians of those receiving mouth guards must take the up ramp and park on the plaza level.