Celebrating the Importance of School Sports SLAM DUNKS AND TOUCHDOWNS
As we gear up to go back to school, I know a lot of my younger patients are getting ready to try out for school sports. Though a knee injury and replacement surgery have kept me away from any game for about 10 years, I really loved sports when I went to school. There are few other opportunities for kids to learn the same degree of teamwork and discipline. It’s also a great way to get kids off their phones for a little while. My dad was a basketball coach, so I grew up on the hardwood. When I was in junior high, I hit my growth spurt and ended up being one of the tallest kids on the team. I was happy to play forward and center, though my dad kept trying to get me to improve my dribbling. I didn’t listen and learned that was a huge mistake when I reached high school. My teammates were all getting taller and I wasn’t! Needless to say, I really should have listened to my dad. Ultimately, I ended up being a better football player than a basketball player. I was a quiet kid, but when I was on the field I could let my aggression out. I enjoyed the intensity of contact sports. Years later, my two sons played lacrosse in high school, and I fell in love with the game. If my school had offered lacrosse, I would have traded in my football helmet for a lacrosse stick in a heartbeat. Even though I haven’t been able to play myself for years, I still love sports. I encouraged my kids to play when they were
in school, and I like catching the games on TV, especially basketball. I remember being surprised when I noticed a lot of players in the NBA wear mouthguards when they play. In high school, they forced us to wear mouthguards in football to protect our teeth, but not basketball. But it makes sense for pro athletes to wear mouthguards when you consider the fact that, in addition to preventing broken teeth, mouthguards offer many other benefits.
This means a player is getting more oxygen and has the energy to play a little harder for a little longer. Additionally, a well-fitted custom mouthguard can help prevent or minimize the severity of a concussion if a player gets hit in the head. Mind you, professional athletes aren’t wearing the boil-and-bite mouthguards I and a lot of my teammates used while in school. Here at the office, we’re proud to offer custom mouthguards designed to perfectly fit a young athlete’s teeth. And there’s still plenty of time to get the perfect mouthguard made before the starts of the next sports season. Here’s to all the athletes we have at the office. Good luck this season, and be sure to drink plenty of water. –Dr. Stuckey
“Ultimately, I ended up being a better football player than a basketball player.”
A lot of these guys are wearing mouthguards because it helps them breathe better. You see, when you wear a mouthguard, it brings the jaw forward and opens the airways more.
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