With the rise in concern of brain damage due to head injuries throughout the world of sports, the St. Thomas football program has turned to technology in order to prevent repeated head trauma.
These mouth guards, commonly called “Vector mouthpieces” here on campus, provides tools that help assess an athlete’s status to return to play or establish recovery protocols. The Vector mouth guard utilizes embedded microscopic technologies that accurately measure the hits and accelerations a player’s brain experiences during the game.
Data is transmitted in real time to a laptop at the sideline and is stored on a secure internet database. Sideline personnel can view alerts and notifications about a player’s head with a mobile notification device or computer from the sideline. The mouth guards are molded to each individual player’s mouth.
“The mouthpiece is very comfortable. You have to put it in your mouth for like seven minutes, then it fits the mold of your mouth perfectly.”
Jaylen Davis, sophomore running back
The cost of the mouthpiece is its only liability. But when Davis was asked about the cost, he said, “The mouth piece was definitely worth the price because it’ll help figure out if you have a major head injury or not.”
Davis is very grateful for this new technology. “As a running back I take plenty of hits and blows to the head from the opposing team’s tacklers, so with this new mouth guard, it makes the game of football a lot more safer for me.” The mouth guards are very essential to know about a player’s state after they get hit really hard.
The new technology sends data to a computer telling how hard a player just got hit. This product also makes the parents of the players feel more safe about their child playing a body weathering sport, as in football. Although football is “America’s game”, it is also the fifth most dangerous sport in the world.
Which means there are a ton of injuries that occur while playing this game. These include head injuries. The mouth guards were assembled to prevent long term brain damage from athletes who play contact sports. This a great asset to the safety movement for football. A ton of people are trying to figure out a way to make the game of football safer, and this new mouth guard is a big step forward.