Taking a bite out of sports injuries
New mouth guard technology can change kid’s game
Friday, August 22, 2008
A new high-tech mouth guard system, used by many professional athletes, helps increase endurance and can prevent sports injuries. The Pure Power Edge system involves custom-made guards built with computer-assisted technology to fit the upper and lower teeth sets.
The guards effectively hold the jaw in its correctly aligned position so that the head, neck and jaw muscles can completely relax.
"Most people have problems with their bite, and when the bite’s off, there’s a lot of muscle tension," explains Dr. Eric Klein, a dentist at the Dental Boutique in Frankfort, who is a qualified Pure Power Edge practitioner. "By correctly positioning the jaw, you effectively improve strength, range of motion and flexibility. Proper position releases tension and improves balance."
While many professional athletes have acknowledged their improved performance with the PPE system, Klein says great results have been seen with teen athletes, too.
"It’s not going to make you stronger," Klein says, "but it will allow you to utilize your full potential. It will put everything in the perfect neurophysiological position, opening up the airways, increasing the flow of oxygen, increasing endurance and giving you the edge over any competition."
The mouth guards can also help prevent injury. Studies completed on their use in athletes playing high-impact sports (such as football or hockey), have shown that they can help to prevent concussions. And the jaw alignment they provide also helps to prevent everyday aches and pains, since the muscles are relaxed and free of tension.
Price might be a factor for some parents, as the system can cost between $1,000-$1,600. Klein recommends scheduling a free consult with a PPE-qualified dentist to learn more (there are five in Illinois and you can find contact information at ppmmouthguard.com).