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A Conway Family Dental professional fits an athlete with a custom-made mouth guard. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONWAY — The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation recently awarded a $1,000 grant to the Kiwanis Club of Mount Washington Valley.

The grant will enable the club to continue its custom-fitted mouth guard program for area high school student-athletes, with its community partner Conway Family Dental of Conway Village.

In 2019, 40 football players at Kennett High School were fitted for individual custom-made mouth guards that protect them from sports-related impact injuries to teeth and facial structures.

In addition, 10 hockey players from Fryeburg Academy were also fitted with custom mouth guards.

Conway Family Dental professionals donated their time and expertise to fit and mold the mouth guards for each individual, at no cost to student-athletes or parents.

The new grant will allow additional student-athletes who play a spring 2020 sport to be fitted for custom mouth guards. Interested students and parents should contact their coach or school athletic director.

All student-athletes can use the mouth guards throughout their high school athletic years to help minimize sports-related impact injuries to teeth and facial structures.

A 2014 study by the Academy of General Dentistry reported that custom-fitted mouth guards may also reduce concussion risk, compared to generic store-bought mouth guards.

The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation works to improve the access to and quality of oral health care and education for the public and dental communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The mission of Northeast Delta Dental is to improve the overall health and wellness of the communities it serves in the tri-state region.

The grant Kiwanis received was a major financial contribution to the success of the mouth guard program; a trifold initiative that links the club with the community resource of Conway Family Dental and the support of Northeast Delta Dental to achieve the mutual goal of quality oral health care.

The Kiwanis Dental Program Committee, chaired by Ralph Lutjen, developed and organized the mouth guard program in cooperation with the Kennett High School Athletic Department, the SAU 9 School District administration, the Fryeburg Academy Athletic Department and school administration, and Conway Family Dental.

The Kiwanis Club of Mount Washington Valley has committed additional funding to provide mouth guards to additional student-athletes in future school years.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. For more information about how the Kiwanis Club of Mount Washington Valley works to better the lives of children in the valley and beyond, go to mwvkiwanis.org.

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