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Dental School's Mouth Guard Clinic July 12

Ann Arbor, MI — June 23, 2014 — The University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s popular annual Mouth Guard Clinic will be held Saturday, July 12, at the dental school located on the Central Campus at 1011 N. University Avenue.

Free, customized mouth guards will be made for amateur athletes, ages 5 and older, who plan to play football, ice hockey, basketball, soccer or other sports.  Children who wear braces are also invited.

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, who will be supervised by clinical faculty members, will make mouth guards for the first 100 student athletes.

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, each person 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 student and asked to choose the color of their mouth guard and if they wish to have a strap attached.  The athlete will then spend about 15 or 20 minutes in a dental chair while an impression of their teeth is taken.  The finished product will be available for pickup about an hour later. 

Before returning home, athletes will try their mouth guard to ensure a proper fit.  A student dentist or clinical faculty member will check the fit and make any final adjustments, if necessary.

Dr. Kenneth May, associate professor of dentistry, said a customized mouth guard is an important piece of equipment for athletes of all ages.  “The mouth guards made by our dental and dental hygiene students are comfortable to wear and more likely to be used,” he said.  In addition, a customized fit helps to blunt the force of impact caused by contact or falls.  He 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.