Well kids, it's that time again!!! Lace 'em up, strap 'em on and let's go HIT somebody!!!!
But before we get started, it's important to remember one other form of protective equipment--beyond the house protection previously mentioned in Sports Science Friday back in December.
If you're gonna play smash-mouth football, then ya gotta protect those pearly whites.
From the experts at the Journal of the American Dental Association 2006 Dec;137(12):1712-20
Using mouthguards to reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related oral injuries.
The whole purpose of a mouthguard (usually constructed from some sort of thermoplastic copolymer) is to distribute and decrease any forces incurred to the teeth and other hard and soft tissue structures of the mouth by blunt force. A properly fitted mouth guard has been proven over and over again to protect players from significant injury from trauma. And, many of you may know, that if you break, chip, or otherwise avulse a tooth---you don't get much healing.
There are three types of mouth guards: The "ready made" or stock mouthguard, the mouth-formed or "boil and bite", and the custom made which is either vacuum formed or pressure laminated.
The stock mouthguard comes in a few standard sizes and requires you to keep your mouth closed so the thing will stay in. Many folks find this prohibitive as it is hard to breathe and talk with them in. Because they don't fit well, they don't protect well either. But they are cheap...
Next up is the mouth-formed or "boil and bite" variety. This is the most commonly used device and the one that I'm sure you've all purchased at a sporting goods store. Actually, more than once. Because as you all know, you have to get the temperature just right and then you have to bite it and form it just so, or the thing is wrecked....
But the best of the bunch is the custom made mouthguard usually made by a dental professional. It fits better, protects better, but is a whole lot more expensive.
But here's the thing. No matter what---Wear your mouthguard!!!
To Michigan's opponents, this season, I say: BRING IT!
BEAT THE BRONCOS!!!