When the leaves begin to fall I know its not only back to school time for kids but the beginning of a new season of minor hockey.

As a sports dentist and the team dentist of the NHL Vancouver Canucks that also means getting busy with sports mouth guards.

This will be my tenth season with the Vancouver Canucks and as team dentist my role starts at the yearly medicals in early September as all the players invited to camp come in for evaluation including dental.

This year as many of you know who follow the Canucks, there was a very large number of players invited to camp; so, I had over 60 player exams to do over a few hours. That was quite the work out. It was incredible to see how young these players are.

It was a great ride to be part of the Canucks teams we had from 2006-2013 and going to the Stanley Cup final was an unforgettable experience. These last few years I have had to say good bye to some great guys who played for us here and when I look around the room this year all that is left from that time are the twins and Alex the Eagle.

So many great players have left but they were also great people. Its tough to see them go but that is the way the professional sports business works.

Often my patients and friends ask me about being the Canucks dentist and what it is like to have to deal with all the broken and lost teeth.

The truth is that at the NHL level the game is played in a very highly controlled way by highly skilled players. The number of serious injuries to the teeth per year is not as many as you would think.

I am thankful that more and more young players are wearing sport mouth guards. When mouth trauma does occur during the game, the teeth injuries can be very severe.

As I close I will let you in on how professional hockey players order mouth guards.

Option A: Regular to be worn in the mouth (preferred by team dentist)

Option B: Thin to be chewed on (see Patrick Kane – discouraged by team dentist)

Good luck this year to our Vancouver Canucks and to all the girls and boys in minor hockey.

Dr. Jeffrey Norden works at WestcoastSmile Dental Studio in Kitsilano and is the Team Dentist for the Vancouver Canucks.


Last modified: October 23, 2017

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