The current rise in reported concussions in all sports, but especially in soccer and football, has sent coaches and players scrambling for a preventative strategy. Time out for a visit to your dentist. A study reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reports that the use of custom mouth guards by athletes in high contact sports significantly reduced the incidence of concussions. A similar study of Notre Dame football players noted that there were "six or seven" players on the team who required cervical traction before matches. Regular mouth guard use, however, abolished the need for such traction. The protective effects of mouth guard use were not evident in the boil and bite varieties of night guards available in drug stores. The studies demonstrated the protective benefits of only custom made laminate covered mouth guards which absorb some of the impact, thus reducing concussion and spine injuries. Before those athletic contests, let's get your dentist off the bench and into a primary defensive position to protect your team from concussions.