Don’t get to excited, I don’t think I will give you daily updates about the Vector Mouthguards but I do feel that the first day is important on many fronts, including: customer service, supplies, and ease of use out of “box”.
I had previously met with the kids individually and emailed the parents to open a line of communication about what was coming and what we could expect. I also told everyone about my expectations for this system. I received many questions from the kids that I could easily answer (looks, weight, how it works, “will my braces mess it up?”). The parents really only cared about performance and many were excited about it, even the parents of the kids that were not selected to wear them.
We ended up getting enough money to outfit 40 players so I had so select a group of kids that I thought would be a good cross section for what I wanted to know from this. I chose the following people: all varsity starters on both sides of ball except for QB, the 2’s that would be getting the most work on the scout team, players that would play both JV and Varsity, and the remaining were players that are probably not going to see much action – mainly on their own volition in practice or games (if you know what I mean). Within that group I have 4 players that have previous history of concussion, including two that have multiple concussions in their past. This I feel represents the kids that will see the most possible impact throughout the season.
I received the shipment yesterday and included were the mouthguards (lanyards number stickers), the chargers, a computer, the antenna for the system with a tripod and a carrying case for it. All was set up and ready to rock after getting the players and mouthguards into the system.
Today, Tanner Nussbaum from the Green Bay area drove down to help with the fitting and getting system up and running, and hew as on time and ready with all answers to any questions I had conjured up over night. We had the 40 players meet at 1:30 for fitting and computer inputting with final instructions, the last players were done after an hour and 20 minutes. It all went rather smoothly, minus some Continue reading →
This was originally posted in May, not a long throwback, but since football started I have been hit up with this question a lot. So here is the “truth” about this research. I love the effort and attempt to find a reason; however when you have a critical and FUNDAMENTAL flaws then present it in a way that could be considered fraudulent I have a major problem. I would also like to add that this research has not been pulled by the publisher. This is exactly how we get in trouble, the Academy of General Dentistry needs to address this, now, as this peer-reviewed “science” is getting run in media…
The basic fundamentals we should be cognizant of here are: concussion is a BRAIN injury, the BRAIN floats inside skull, Physics dictates that the BRAIN will move depending on the forces applied to the skull/head (not always from a blow to that area), mouth gear cannot stop the BRAIN from moving, mouth gear cannot attenuate any forces to the skull/head that are not in the oral region, mouth gear does nothing for the skull/head when forces are placed on it in rotational, angular, acceleration or deceleration fashion.
Now that we have that all out-of-the-way this is the General Dentistry article I was asked to comment on. On face value and from a “peer-reviewed” angle it seems all good. A significant finding between custom mouth gear (noted as LM MG in article) and over the counter “boil and bite” mouth gear (noted as OTC MG). However once you take a deeper look there are some peculiar problems, in my humble opinion – that comes later.
First, we should look at the possible limitations of this study that seems well populated and well thought out (honestly these were my first concerns before finding the real issue):
- Were the injuries controlled for by football position? (we have documented this issue here)
- Were the injuries controlled for by size of players/school they were playing?
- Were the injuries controlled for by playing time? (more exposure more risk)
- Were the injuries controlled for by game vs. practice?
- Were all the injuries seen and recorded by a single MD or was it the ATC at each school?
- Did any of the players have a previous history of concussion?
- Was the study controlled based on practice habits of the teams? (do some hit more than others)
- How do we know that every player complied with the “no wedging or chewing” rule? (this plays a massive role later)
- The study says that all 412 subjects wore the same exact helmet, I find that: A) hard to believe and B) was the fit on every player the relatively the same?
- Who funded this research? (no disclosure)
As you can see there is a litany of reasons I would have dismissed this research, if I were peer reviewing because those limitations are extremely real and realistic to control for in this type of study. I wrote to the public relations group handling this research and was unable to get a straight answer on those questions I raised. In the meantime I sent out the article to some better than average “stat nerds” and awaited a response.
While waiting I noticed something really troubling, as in a fatal flaw with the research. In some places an oversight like this is intolerable, because Continue reading →
This is not a prestigious list by the way, it is more of a “beware of list”, and two different companies/mouthguards have now found my ire. Perhaps I was “Pollyanna-ish” about companies continuing to claim that this particular piece of equipment can attenuate concussions or even reduce problems; it should have been fair warning with the FTC’s decision on Brain-Pad.
Any device placed in the mouth is for oral-dental protection, nothing more. Any claims otherwise are not based on any scientific evidence, because none exists to my knowledge. If you want to prevent what you see in the picture you must wear a mouthguard/device. If you want to prevent concussions, don’t participate in collision or contact sports, period.
If I told you that one company says;
“A serious blow to the head can leave you with significant physical and mental problems years after you’ve hung up your equipment. Gladiator® may prevent or reduce the severity of concussion.”
What would you say to that? But they are not the only one;
“By wearing a Guardian Mouthguard, you are helping to protect yourself against concussions!”
That will be the last time I mention those companies. I don’t like to send traffic their way, but if you do not believe me Continue reading →