Any high school or group that offers team sports in the Savannah area is invited to apply for free custom-fit mouth guards for their upcoming season courtesy of Angela Canfield, a local dentist who operates Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon.
Canfield is accepting applications until Monday, July 2 for the 2018 Canfield Mouth Shield Program that will provide mouth guards in team colors, valued at up to $10,000, for the team chosen for the program.
“Giving back to the community and protecting young mouths is a priority for me and my team,” Canfield said. “I choose to donate the gear because these children deserve to have healthy smiles and research shows that wearing custom-fit mouth guards while playing sports reduces the risk of severe injuries to the teeth and jaw.”
Canfield developed and implemented the mouth-guard program in 2014 as a way to help kids in the greater Savannah area maintain a healthy smile. The first recipient was the Benedictine Military School football team. Since then, she has provided mouth guards to organizations that include Groves High School, Hancock Day School and Bethesda Academy.
The program is open to teams in numerous sports, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and wrestling.
“Nearly 50 percent of kids will experience some type of damage to a tooth, often in conjunction with a sports injury,” Canfield said. “While these injuries are not usually life-threatening, serious complications could occur and restorations can be costly. Injuries can also have long-lasting effects on a child’s appearance and self-confidence.”
She said injuries may result from anything from direct contact to a misplaced step while running. The custom-made mouth guards provide stability to the players’ jaws and cushion blows that can cause severe dental injuries such as broken teeth, fractured jaws, gum lacerations and injuries to the lips or tongue.
Canfield will donate the mouth guards, valued at $85 each, to every player on the selected team. Each appliance includes a one-year warranty that covers any dental expenses incurred by players while wearing the mouth guards. The warranty pays $1,093.75 per injured or replaced tooth up to a maximum of $35,000 per incident. Since the program started, Canfield has donated over $40,000 worth of protective gear to local student-athletes.
Applications must be received by Monday, July 2. For more information or to apply, visit http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/community/