Playing it safe by guarding your smile

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Devan Pinkney, 39th Medical Operations Squadron dental technician, places molding material into a mouth tray at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. The molding is an alginate impression material that takes approximately 45 seconds to set before it is ready to use to make a mouth guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Devan Pinkney, 39th Medical Operations Squadron dental technician, places a mouth tray with molding material into the mouth of Tech. Sgt. Ashley Anderson, 39th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of family health at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. The mold is used to take an impression of the patient’s teeth in order to make a properly fitted mouth guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

A mouth tray with a dental impression sets at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. Mouth guards are highly suggested by dentists during high intensity sports and activities, as these activities can cause damage or loss of teeth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Merrill, 39th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of the dental lab, prepares a Scheu-Dental Biostar pressure molding device at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. Merrill created a custom mouth guard by sealing a dental impression with a soft plastic, which is first warmed to better fit the impression, resulting in a more comfortable fit for the wearer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

A Scheu-Dental Biostar pressure molding device warms up at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. The machine is used to seal a soft plastic over a dental impression to make a custom mouth guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Merrill, 39th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of the dental lab, trims a custom mouth guard at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Merrill, 39th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of the dental lab, warms up a custom mouth guard at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. The soft plastic mouth guard is warmed to create a more effective and comfortable fit for the wearer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

The dental clinic creates mouth guards for members to prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth during high intensity activities.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley Anderson, 39th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of family health, displays her custom mouth guard at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, June 8, 2018. Mouth guards are created by the dental clinic to prevent injury to members' teeth and mouths during intense physical activities or sports. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

With the onset of summer weather, sports on Incirlik Air Base are in full swing. However, with more people playing sports comes the potential of increased injuries.

 

According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is more likely to sustain harm to the teeth area when a mouth guard is not used, which could include jaw injuries, broken teeth, and cuts to the lips, cheeks or gums.

 

“We normally get on average 3-to-5 sports-related trauma a month,” explained U.S. Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Sharon Aradine, 39th Medical Operations Squadron dentist. “The cases we have seen range from a simple chip repair, to a broken jaw and everything in-between.”

 

Fortunately, many of these injuries are preventable thanks to the help of the 39th MDOS dental clinic.

 

“The dental clinic is both proactive and reactive when it comes to sports,” said Aradine. “We make guards to prevent dental injuries, but also treat any trauma that may be caused from not wearing a sports guard.”

 

Service members are able to obtain mouth guards by visiting the dental clinic and having one created the same day.

 

The process to make a custom mouth guard is quick and simple. An impression is taken using a powder and water mixture that is placed into a mouth tray to take a mold of the patient’s teeth.  After setting for approximately 45 seconds, the impression is then filled to create a hard cast of the teeth. The hard cast is then covered with a flexible plastic, which results in the patient’s finished guard.

 

“At the clinic [mouth guards] are not only free, but are custom to your teeth, which means they are less bulky, less noticeable, easier to talk with, and provide better protection to your teeth,” said Aradine.

 

For more information on sports guards or any dental requests, please contact the 39th MDOS dental clinic at 676-6104.