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Protect your teeth

A sports-related dental injury can result in long-term dental problems and expenses.  Wearing an athletic mouthguard offers significant protection. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A sports-related dental injury can result in long-term dental problems and expenses. Wearing an athletic mouthguard offers significant protection. (U.S. Air Force photo)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- It's September, and you know what that means.... FOOTBALL!

Injury prevention is important if you participate in contact sports or other recreational activities. When it comes to protecting your teeth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear. In fact, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to his/her teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards help buffer an impact or blow that can otherwise cause broken teeth, jaw injuries, or cuts to the lips, tongue or face. They also reduce the rate and severity of concussions.

The Osan Dental Clinic offers boil and bite mouthguards to our beneficiaries. A boil and bite mouthguard is made from a thermoplastic material which is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. Boil and bite mouthguards are available for free at the front desk of the Osan Dental Clinic. Please drop by our front desk to inquire. Additionally, custom mouthguards can be constructed for individuals wearing braces or have fixed prosthodontic treatment.

How to take care of your mouthguard:

· Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
· Occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
· Transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents.
· Make sure not to leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water.
· Check for wear and replace the mouthguard when necessary.