Community | 22 August, 2019

Dentist Dad Safeguards Team’s Teeth

Mouth guards are compulsory in school boy rugby, so when one father found a team of young players weren’t using theirs, he decided to use his skills to do something about it.


Dannevirke dad and Lead Dentist at Dannevirke Family Dentists, Gary Mitchelmore, knows the importance of protecting ones teeth.

Injuries sustained playing sports is the number one reason for people damaging their teeth and wearing a mouth guard can prevent a painful accident and (not to mention) a costly trip to the dentist.

“As father of three boys I spent many years on the side-lines of schoolboy rugby matches and noticed that whilst the players had their mouth guards in for pre-match inspection, they often ended up tucked into their socks once the game got underway,” says Gary.

The reason, says Gary, is that the kids were using cheap mouth guards that were uncomfortable to wear.

“They are not much use when carried in a sock if a knee impacts the front teeth,” he says.

Gary made his sons their own custom mouth guards and soon found that their friends wanted some too.

“It was a simple step to make the whole team one each as a sponsorship deal in 2005 and we have continued every year since.”

It takes about an hour to get the impressions and then over the course of a week or so (when Gary finds time during his breaks or through a missed appointment) he makes the mouth guards using technology the clinic has in its surgery laboratory.

It became compulsory in 1998 for players in all grades of rugby to wear mouth guards during matches.

Since then, ACC says they have seen a decline in the number of rugby-related dental injuries however it has not completely eliminated it.

The New Zealand Dental Association recommends a good mouthguard should be of sufficient thickness in the correct areas, resilient, well retained, comfortable and should not interfere with speaking and breathing.

Providing general dental services to the whole of Tararua and Southern Hawkes Bay, Dannevirke Family Dentists has been serving patient for nearly 25 years.

To make an appointment with Gary or one of his team, visit the Lumino Dannevirke Family Dentists.