Preserving the smiles of local high school football players

Photos by Mike Scott

When football players from three local high schools hit the football field this fall, they will be safer thanks to custom-made mouth guards from the Safe Smiles program.

The Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and Greater Cleveland Dental Society provide the mouth guards—which can cost up to $250—to students free of charge. This year, students from John Adams High School, Glenville High School and Whitney Young Leadership Academy will receive the custom mouth guards, which will each be emblazoned with their school’s name and colors.

Last Friday, volunteers from the School of Dental Medicine and Greater Cleveland Dental Society fitted the football players for their new mouth guards. Late this month, the mouth guards will be complete.

In addition to the protective guards, the players each received dental exams and education on maintaining good oral hygiene.

The Safe Smiles program set out to provide mouth guards to football players at all 10 Cleveland Metropolitan School District High Schools. When the students from John Adams High School, Glenville High School and Whitney Young Leadership Academy receive their mouth guards this year, all 10 high schools will have received them.

This is the third and final year for the Safe Smiles program, which was funded by grants from the Greater Cleveland Dental Society and the American Dental Foundation.

Read more about the Safe Smiles program in the spring/summer 2016 edition of Think.