Since the time Brion Anduze was playing tee ball, he has been finding ways to challenge his personal game. This all-around athlete has proven success in basketball, baseball and football – with an eye always on his next ambition.

“Goals are dreams with deadlines,” said the 17-year-old from Silverdale, Wash. “I’ve always had a list that I look at every day, with really specific things I’m working toward. As I meet one, I create another to replace it. Soon you start seeing a progression. It’s really rewarding!”

A year ago, Anduze honed his full focus on football and academics. He aimed to get a 3.0 GPA and is almost there with a 2.93. He wanted to stay in shape in the off-season, so he maintained his two-hour daily workouts year-round. He longed to weigh 225 pounds, and now tips the scale at 232. He was intent on running 40 yards in under 4.8 seconds, and now does the distance in 4.72. He aspired to receive a collegiate football offer and, after being seriously scouted by a half dozen NCAA teams, received four.

“I’m a believer that hard work pays off in opportunity,” said the Central Kitsap High School senior. “So, when I visited the University of Arizona last month, I saw my future.”

Now holding a four-year commitment to play tight-end for the Division 1 Wildcats (upon his graduation next spring), with plans to major in business, Anduze says it all feels a bit surreal. “It’s what I’ve worked for my entire life,” he explained. “Yet you just keep grinding. There’s always room for improvement. My ultimate goal is to be the very best I can be.”

Having been hit in the head and tackled more times than he can count, this Clear Creek patient since 2008 remarkably has avoided orofacial injuries because he approaches his health in the same way he manages the rest of his life.

“It’s a priority. I don’t just think about it, I take all the precautions,” Anduze said. “After wearing braces for three years, I definitely don’t want to mess up my teeth, I always wear a mouthguard.”

Just like helmets or pads, mouthguards are an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of any player’s standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. While collision and contact sports are higher-risk for the mouth, a dental injury can occur in non-contact activities too, such as equestrian and field events, gymnastics or skating.

Additionally, when the jaw suffers an impact, energy is transmitted to the head, which can cause a concussion. Mouthguards have been shown to reduce the G-force impact of blows to the jaw by up to 20 percent.

It is estimated by the American Dental Association that mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone.

“You’ve got to protect your game face,” Anduze said. “Whatever sport you play, it should be part of your uniform.”

A properly fitted mouthguard must be protective, comfortable, resilient, tear resistant, odorless, tasteless, not bulky, and cause minimal interference to speaking, breathing, and (most importantly) have excellent retention, fit, and sufficient thickness in critical areas.

Clear Creek Dentistry recommends boil-and-bite mouthguards for patients who are still getting their permanent teeth (age 14 and under). However, once a person has their adult teeth, a custom-fit guard will stay in better and be less bulky than a one-size-fits-all style. A custom-fit guard protects better because of its more intimate fit with the teeth.

As a kickoff to the 2014-15 seasons of sports, Clear Creek Dentistry is backing ALL high-school sponsored, contact sport athletes by offering them a FREE custom-fit mouthguard ($298 value) if they are current on their exams and restorative care here at Clear Creek, or with a new patient exam. **Promotion expires at the end of August 2014, so make your appointments today!**
Here’s to our local players and helping Kitsap keep the smash mouth on the field and good health in your court!

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