LA (Lee & Antoniazzi) Orthodontics, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, is offering all area student-athletes custom sports mouthguards free of charge in an effort to reduce the rate of sports-related head and mouth injuries.

“Recently, I heard about a local youth hockey player getting a concussion, when something clicked and I realized, ‘Hey, we can do something about this.’ And so the concept was born,” said Anthony Antoniazzi, DDS, from LA Orthodontics. “If one injury is prevented through this program, then it’s all worth it.” Students interested in a mouthguards simply schedule an appointment to be fitted.

Krista Lee, DDS, also from LA Orthodontics, added, “If we remove the financial burden away from the parents and every student-athlete begins wearing mouthguards, not just for hockey or football, but for softball, baseball, volleyball, etc., then we have done something really worthwhile for the kids and parents in our community.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency-room visits in 12- to 17-year olds.