Mahomet dentist helps football players guard their mouth

The brutality of the game of football has scared some parents away from the sport. The staff at Mahomet Family Dentistry has found a way to keep teeth safe during the dangerous game.

Last week, they made form-fitting mouthguards for 40 players on the Mahomet-Seymour High School football team.

“The reason we did it was because we saw a need for having a mouthguard that the kids could wear that was custom fit,” dentist Nezar Kassem said. “It would help protect their teeth much more when they’re playing football.”

This is the second year that Kassem has made mouthguards for M-S players, and the feedback has been stellar.

“A lot of the kids that received their mouthguard last year reported that they liked the way they fit,” Kassem said.

The long-time Mahomet dentist is all about giving back to his hometown. Kassem didn’t charge a cent for the mouthguards.

His goal is to make the mouthguard comfortable.

“I think the biggest advantage is when they fit comfortably, they’ll wear them,” Kassem said. “I think the ones at the store, they do an effective job of protecting their teeth, but when they’re not form-fitting, they don’t fit as comfortably.”

Dylan Gates is a junior running back with the Bulldogs. Gates received a mouthguard from Mahomet Family Dentistry last year and came back for another one.

“I think it’s really nice for all the players to get a mouthpiece that fits them because all the one-size-fits-all brand doesn’t always ‘fit all,’” Gates said. “So I think it’s good to have one that fits perfectly and it makes breathing way easier during high intensity football games.”

Each player had to get an impression made, which gives the staff an exact model of each individual’s teeth.

“Getting the impression tastes really weird, but once it is in place it’s fine,” Gates said. “It’s definitely worth it.”

The process of making a mouthguard doesn’t take long.

“We first have to make the impression. Once we make the impression, we make a model of it,” Kassem said. “Then we trim the model and then we can finish the process. The whole thing takes 10 to 15 minutes at the most.”

Kassem plans to make more mouthguards next year.

“It’s something that myself and my staff look forward to doing every year,” Kassem said. “As long as there’s a need and the kids continue to appreciate the mouthguard, we’ll continue to do it.”

Gates also plans to return.

“As long as they have this, I’ll be here,” Gates said. “I love it.”

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