Georgia dentist donates mouthguards to roller derby league
October 29, 2019
–– When Dr. Angela Canfield opened Sandfly Family Dental five years ago, she wanted to find a way to give back to her community.
"We do family dentistry, so we wanted to do something with kids," Dr. Canfield said of her Savannah, Georgia-based solo practice. "We thought that some people don't realize the importance of mouthguards in any kind of contact sport, not just for your teeth, but for other things as well."
With that in mind, Dr. Canfield founded her Mouth Shield Program. Since 2014, she has donated 419 custom-fit mouthguards –– a total value of $35,615 –– to youth sports teams in her area.
Giving back: Dr. Angela Canfield takes an impression of a Savannah Junior DerbyTaunts player's teeth to make her a custom-fit mouthguard as part of the Mouth Shield Program. Courtesy of Carriage Trade PR
While most of those teams have played football, this year's recipients were the Savannah Junior DerbyTaunts, a flat-track roller derby league for girls ages 8 to 17.
"We decided we wanted to broaden our horizons. We keep talking about football, but there are tons of other sports," said Dr. Canfield, who lives in Savannah and owns another practice in Rincon, Georgia. "We wanted girls to be active and to be able to be a team."
Each year, a panel of area business owners reviews the applications and picks one or more winning teams. The program is open to any youth teams in Chatham County, where Savannah is the county seat, regardless of sport or affiliation.
Past recipients include football teams from Benedictine Military School, Groves High School, Hancock Day School, Bethesda Academy, Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School.
To fit the players for their mouthguards, Dr. Canfield sometimes goes to the schools, and other times, the players come to her office. Her goal is to get the teams their mouthguards before they start competing.
The mouthguards are valued at $85 each, and Dr. Canfield makes them in the teams' colors.
She said it's been fun to get involved and do something different, and she enjoys talking with the players.
"They're excited, and they love it, and they're very appreciative," Dr. Canfield said.