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Marcus Washington spits at, out mouthpieces

Per The Bog, Marcus Washington just got his braces off, and Corey Bradford still has his on. Apparently braces have a tendency to stick on mouthguards, or so says Bradford. But Washington?

I asked Washington whether he ever had similar mouthpiece issues; "Well, I never wear a mouthpiece," he told me. "It gets in my way; I can't trash talk as much if I've got a mouthpiece."

Despite that oddity, he said he never cut his lips on his braces.

Mouthpieces, also called gumshields and mouthguards, apparently, are (allegedly) a valuable tool for protecting one's teeth, brain. Please enjoy this propaganda link to the ADA -- of course we're talking about the Australian Dental Association, not to be confused with either the American Dental Association nor the Albanian Dental Association (who knew!) -- or this Crest Patient Education online pamphlet. It tells us that mouthguards can prevent, among other things, "concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, incidents of unconsciousness, jaw fractures and neck injuries..." You'd be stupid not to wear one, right?

Concussions huh? Pffffft says the NFL, which does not require mouthguards. Apparently somewhere in the 40% range of players don't wear mouthguards, making Marcus Washington less anomalous than I would have guessed. Here's the (in 2006 at least) league's medical liaison, Elliot Pellman on this voodoo concussions and mouthguards nonsense:

"I can give you 100 dentists who say they've got the best method for reducing concussions," he says. "Many times I've had them in my office. One brought me a box of cookies. My response to that person and to 20 others is that I'm intrigued, but it's your job to prove to me your idea does what you say it does."
I love that. Many dentists disagree about the superlative concussion prevention system, and at least one of them thinks the answer is cookies. Ergo, mouthguards are for skirts. Niiiiiiiice.

Cynicism towards the medical liason aside, I fully endorse Washington's bravery in opting out of mouthguards, as that kind of recklessness is endearing in a strong side linebacker who pursues opposing quarterbacks. And that's the tooth. (HIYO)