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Academy for Sports Dentistry represented at White House summit

June 04, 2014

By Craig Palmer

photo of Dr. Rick Knowlton Dr. Rick Knowlton 
—At the president’s invitation, Dr. Rick Knowlton represented the Academy for Sports Dentistry May 29 at the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. His post-summit message: A properly fitted mouthguard is important for sports safety.

“The gathering was aimed at finding new ways to identify, treat and prevent serious head injuries, particularly in youth sports,” said Dr. Knowlton, academy president.

“The Academy for Sports Dentistry recommends the use of a properly fitted mouthguard,” he said. “It encourages the use of a custom fabricated mouthguard made over a dental cast and delivered under the supervision of a dentist. The ASD strongly supports and encourages a mandate for use of a properly fitted mouthguard in all collision and contact sports.

“It is important for us as dentists to take a more active role in encouraging these players in all age groups to wear the proper protective equipment to prevent orofacial injuries. We must all take a proactive role in attempting to prevent orofacial injuries on the playground and in organized sporting events.”

The ADA offers a patient education brochure, Sports Safety, which helps dentists get kids and parents on board with facial protection. Sports Safety emphasizes a properly fitted mouthguard as a key piece of athletic gear. This and other Association resources on mouthguards and sports are available at ADA.org.

The Academy for Sports Dentistry was established in 1983 as a forum for dentists, physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, dental technicians and educators interested in exchanging ideas related to sports dentistry and the dental needs of athletes at risk to sports injury. See also ADA News (http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2013-archive/september/asd-usoc-partner-for-athlete-dental-care) report on ASD-USOC agreement.