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Nashville Predators Encourage Kids to "Protect Your Fangs"

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
-Predators team up with Delta Dental of Tennessee to promote the use of mouth guards-

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators and Delta Dental of Tennessee are teaming up for the second consecutive year for the “Protect Your Fangs” campaign, an initiative to encourage youth to use mouth guards to prevent injury and maintain oral health.

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The Predators and Delta Dental launched the campaign last week, with Predators defenseman Greg de Vries and forward Scott Nichol on hand to distribute free “boil and bite” mouth guards to more than 70 kids participating in the G.O.A.L! (Get Out And Learn!) program at Cool Springs Ice Center. The Predators will distribute approximately 4,000 mouth guards statewide this year to youth registered for inline and ice hockey programs.

Preds defeseman Greg de Vries shows youth hockey players how to use their mouthguards at the "Protect Your Fangs" launch in late August.
“Hockey is a physical sport, and with flying pucks and high sticks being a common occurrence, your mouth and teeth are always at risk when out on the ice,” said Predators forward Jordin Tootoo. “These are all reasons why I always protect myself with a mouth guard. I think that any way the Predators and Delta Dental can further emphasize the importance of mouth guards is great for the community and the sport.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, every athlete in the U.S. has a 10 percent chance of injury to the face or mouth during each season and a 45 percent chance throughout his or her career. A mouth guard helps cushion a blow to the face that otherwise might result in chipped or broken teeth, internal damage to a tooth, tooth loss, and, in severe cases, concussion or a broken jaw.

“It’s important that youth develop good habits in sports early on, including the use of mouth guards,” said Dr. Phil Wenk, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “This simple device can prevent injury for youth as well as save money for moms and dads by preventing dental or other health emergencies.”

The Nashville Predators continue their efforts to enhance the awareness and opportunity of youth hockey in Middle Tennessee. The Predators have created partnerships with local youth hockey associations and assist with fundraising, hockey education and additional ice time to promote the growth of the sport at the grassroots level. For more information on how to take advantage of this program, contact the Predators Youth and Amateur Hockey department at 615-770-2372.

Delta Dental of Tennessee, with its affiliates in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana is one of the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2007, the enterprise paid out nearly $1.8 billion for dental care for more than 7.6 million enrollees. Offices are located in Okemos and Farmington Hills, Mich.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Lisle, Ill.; Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis, Tenn.; and, Indianapolis and Greenwood, Ind.

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