Eberting, staff make mouth guards for area high school football teams

Debbie Schreirer takes a mold of Zack Barton’s mouth to help fit him with a mouth guard.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Debbie Schreirer takes a mold of Zack Barton’s mouth to help fit him with a mouth guard.

This group of players from William Blount celebrate with the staff and assistants at Dr. Jeff Eberting’s office after getting fitted for their mouth guards. Pictured are Grant Gentry, Tyler Johnson, David Gorman, Storm Johnson, Zack Barton, Kyle Hagerman, Michael Harris, Whitley Simerley, Krista Masingo, Josh Norris and Sarah Varner.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

This group of players from William Blount celebrate with the staff and assistants at Dr. Jeff Eberting’s office after getting fitted for their mouth guards. Pictured are Grant Gentry, Tyler Johnson, David Gorman, Storm Johnson, Zack Barton, Kyle Hagerman, Michael Harris, Whitley Simerley, Krista Masingo, Josh Norris and Sarah Varner.

Joel Robinson gets fitted for his mouth guard by Sarah Varner at Dr. Jeff  Eberting’s  office.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Joel Robinson gets fitted for his mouth guard by Sarah Varner at Dr. Jeff Eberting’s office.

Michael Bryant gets lots of attention at Dr. Jeff Eberting’s office from staff and assistants Debbie Schreirer, Whitley Simerley, Lana Zayets, Sarah Varner and Krista Masingo.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Michael Bryant gets lots of attention at Dr. Jeff Eberting’s office from staff and assistants Debbie Schreirer, Whitley Simerley, Lana Zayets, Sarah Varner and Krista Masingo.

When orthodontist Jeff Eberting first volunteered to make mouth guards at no charge for each of the four football teams in Blount County, he knew it would take some convincing.

“The first year of us doing this, I told the staff, ‘We are going to have to be aggressive in this project. The second year, it will take one phone call, and the third year, they’ll call us,’” he said.

Turns out Eberting’s predictions were pretty on target.

“The first year we were doing this, I had to hound the powers-that-be to make this happen. I would call coaches and wasn’t getting return calls. Then I wrote three letters - to each coach, athletic director and principal. I just wanted somebody to make this happen.”

Eberting’s persistence paid off. This is the fifth season he and his staff at the Smithview Drive office have created mouth guards for members of each of the area’s football teams.

“Now we just block off the time and get each team scheduled. We can get each team done in a half day. We allocate two days and get all four teams fitted with mouth guards. We have all the teams in, and we serve some kind of meal, whether it is breakfast or a mid-afternoon meal,” he said. “My assistants take impressions of each player’s mouth.”

Eberting said the molds are marked, and the guard is made using a rubber, poly-vinyl material that is heated up and gives a custom fit to each player’s teeth. The mouth guards are delivered to the teams in about a week, he said.

The Maryville orthodontist said safety is the most important issue for the football players if they are hit and their teeth click together during a play. “This mouth guard creates a cushion between the upper and lower teeth. If a player doesn’t have a guard, and they take a hit, they could fracture their teeth or their jaw,” he said. “If a player falls the wrong way and his teeth come together, you could have fractured teeth.”

Eberting said his staff has a fun time with the players, and the players usually don’t get nervous about having a dental mold made. “They’ve come to accept it, and the coaches are good about making sure everyone gets here. We make it a fun atmosphere for the guys.”

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