Keeping your kids active is a huge part of setting them up for healthy lifestyles as adults. While we could go on about the importance of taking care of their oral health, today we wanted to focus on the importance of keeping kids physically active – and for students in Oklahoma City, opportunities are everywhere, thanks to our friends at Fields & Futures.
The Future is Here.
Fields & Futures is a nonprofit organization founded by Oklahoma City residents Liz and Tim McLaughlin dedicated to the idea that “if they play, they stay and if they stay, they graduate.”
There are a lot more benefits to student-athletes than just staying healthy: students who participate in sports have higher rates of school attendance, higher GPAs and higher graduation rates.
Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) makes up Oklahoma’s largest school district, encompassing 88 schools with 46,000 students over 135.5 square miles. The students and faculty are incredibly diverse and full of promising futures, but they do not always have access to the tools they need to succeed.
Before the first field revitalization in 2012, many of OKCPS students had not had a well-maintained sports field in decades. Sports participation is well below the national average, but thanks to our friends at Fields & Futures, that number is climbing.
Building Up a Community.
In 2015 Dental Depot’s founder and owner, Dr. Glenn Ashmore saw how the new athletic fields at Taft Middle School had revitalized the students’ investment into their school. A graduate of Northwest Classen High School, Dr. Glenn saw the opportunity to make a difference at the school where he had been a student-athlete.
“Not only will [Dr. Glenn] come in and help monetarily, but he’ll also advocate and get others involved,” said Tim McLaughlin. “Dr. Glenn actually brought in a couple more donors to the project and so the end result today is 100% improvement. We’re blessed to get to know Dr. Ashmore. And his impact has been fantastic with us.”
With Dr. Glenn’s support, students were gifted the Dental Depot Field, a multipurpose sports complex with enough room for kids to stay and play. Students for years to come will have an equal opportunity to enjoy their sports in a safe, well-maintained field.
With 20 of the district’s 42 athletic complexes renovated by Fields & Futures, there has never been a better time to be a student-athlete in OKC.
Protect Your Athlete’s Winning Smile.
While the opportunities are everywhere for new student-athletes to join the fields, parents should stay aware of what kind of protection their children need. With an estimated 600,000 emergency room visits each year due to sports-related dental injuries, making sure your athlete is wearing a mouthguard is paramount.
The ADA reports that 20-25 million kids participate in competitive sports each year, and athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their smile when they are not wearing a mouthguard. Moreover, a survey conducted by Delta Dental revealed that 70% of parents admitted to not having their child wear any type of mouthguard during competitive sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball and softball. Compliance for sports that do require mouth guards, like football, is less than 75%.
To learn more about your options when it comes to mouth guards, check out this blog and ask your child’s dentist about which mouthguard they recommend at their next appointment.
If you or your child has a dental-related emergency, give our offices a call ASAP and check out this resource as well to better understand what can and cannot wait when it comes to oral health.
We hope you will join us in support of amazing causes like Fields & Futures to continue to give students in Oklahoma a promising future. If you would like to learn more about Fields & Futures or would like to donate, please visit their website at fieldsandfutures.org