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Local dentist gives away mouthguards for free

As the sports season begins, parents of student-athletes have to cough up the cash for one mandatory item — mouthguards.

To beat the financial strain, one Idaho Falls dentist is providing local athletes with customized mouthguards for free. Customized mouthguards can cost around $200, and if parents have multiple children on sports teams, that cost can add up.

“We came here today because their dad heard that this dental facility was giving away free mouthguards and we wanted to get in on that deal,” said Leslie West, a local mom.

9-year-old Rylee and 7-year-old Peyton are active, just like any other boys their age. So when they signed up to play football, mouthguards were a must.

“The dental industry estimates that over 200,000 injuries are prevented because of mouthguards,” said Dr. James Drake of Park West Dental.

At Park West Dental Care in Idaho Falls, student athletes can get a customized mouthguard at no cost. Experts say the protection customized mouthguards provide is better than over-the-counter boil-and-bite models.

“It’s kind of hard to get them to fit just right, so this is a much better fit and more safe for their mouths,” said West.

The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety found that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth when not wearing a mouthguard.

“The ones that we’re making are smaller, they’re more protective of the teeth and athletes are more likely to wear them because they fit so well,” said Drake.

Drake said the mouthguards at Park West Dental can be customized to match school colors and team colors.

For more information call Dr. Drake at 208-524-0870.

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