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Standing ‘guard’ on Wildcats’ behalf

Samantha J. Morningstar, of Lewistown, trims a study model, which is an exact replica of the athlete’s mouth. The study model is then used as a form to make the custom mouthguard.
Samantha J. Morningstar, of Lewistown, trims a study model, which is an exact replica of the athlete’s mouth. The study model is then used as a form to make the custom mouthguard.
A newly vacuum-formed thermoplastic mouthguard is ready for trimming.
A newly vacuum-formed thermoplastic mouthguard is ready for trimming.
Lacrosse team members show off their custom mouthguards.
Lacrosse team members show off their custom mouthguards.

Second-year dental hygiene students and faculty developed a program to provide professional-grade athletic mouthguards for members of the Penn College lacrosse team as part of the students’ Dental Materials and Specialties course. The multiweek project began with taking impressions of the athletes’ teeth to create exact replicas of their mouths. This model was then used, along with specialized equipment, to fabricate the mouthguards. The students were directed by faculty members Barbara K. Emert-Strouse and Marie Y. Stewart, both assistant professors of dental hygiene. The athletic mouthguards play a critical role in contact sports in the prevention of concussions and injuries to teeth.

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