April is Youth Sports Safety Month, and Delta Dental of Oklahoma and the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation (DDOKF) have launched a new initiative encouraging young children to wear mouthguards while playing sports.
“Youth sports are tremendously beneficial for children, but they do not come without risks to a child’s smile,” said Delta Dental of Oklahoma President and CEO John Gladden. “Mouthguards are an underutilized way to lower the risk of sports injuries, including tooth loss. We hope this pilot program will help Oklahoma coaches foster regular use a mouthguard at an early age, both in practice and during games.”
DDOKF will provide Game On mouthguards for athletes ages 10 and under who participate in organized sports leagues in Oklahoma. The Game On mouthguard is the only ADA-accepted mouthguard, offering high performance impact absorption, a microwaveable mold that fits easily over braces and hydrophobic material to help prevent illness.
The mouthguards are green and come in two options: one with a strap to attach to helmets, recommended for use in football and ice hockey, and one without a strap, ideal for use in sports like basketball and soccer.
According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, more than three million teeth are knocked out each year in youth sports. Athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth.
“Mouthguards are a key piece of safety equipment, just like a helmet or shoulder pads,” DDOKF Director Terrisa Singleton said. “Wearing form-fitted mouthguards not only protects children from damaging and painful injuries, it allows them to feel confident to perform at a higher level. This program aims to help keep kids’ teeth secure and improve their long-term oral health.”
Through April 30, 2022, or while supplies last, Oklahoma coaches or league commissioners may request mouthguards online. Orders are set for delivery in June for summer and fall sports seasons.
For more information or to register for mouthguards, visit DDOKFoundation.org/mouthguards.
This program may be expanded to include older student athletes in the future. To receive notifications, join our email list.