Basketball Pro-Trainer and Youth Coach, David Jones, knows a thing or two about vaping. A player on his competitive basketball team, Shooting For Success, tried it, not long ago, and lost his starting position on the team as a result, per Jones. Likewise, Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Eric Schatz is familiar with vaping and e-cigarettes. The Founder of Schatz Orthodontics in Stone Oak, sees, first hand, the kind of effect the trend growing among teens and middle-school age students can have on their oral health. Recently, Jones and Schatz teamed up help kids learn about the dangers of vaping and say no to it.
“Currently, vaping, is one of the greatest peer challenges facing my players and many youth,” said Jones. “I train kids who dream of playing basketball in high school, college, and even professionally, someday. Vaping can and will absolutely get in the way of these student-athletes’ dreams.”
Jones, who played professional basketball throughout Europe for over 13 years before launching Shooting For Success, contacted Dr. Schatz after seeing the Stone Oak Orthodontist on KABB Fox San Antonio. Dr. Schatz detailed to the news team the ingredients in e-cigarettes and vaping devices and what they can do to a person’s mouth, gums, teeth, and more. It peaked Jones’ interest, since his organization was founded upon the principals of teaching life skills through a shared passion and dedication for basketball. Jones reached out to Dr. Schatz asking if the Orthodontist might speak with his athletes and their parents.
Dr. Schatz was more than happy to do so.
“I have huge concerns about vaping,” said Dr. Schatz. “I am concerned as an Orthodontist having researched what it can do to one’s oral health not to mention the teenage brain, but, I also worry about vaping as a father of five children.”
So, in August, over thirty basketball players and nearly a dozen parents took a seat on the sidelines to listen to a short presentation by Dr. Schatz. Schatz didn’t have a fancy projector or shocking photos. The Orthodontist simply looked kids and parents in the eyes and told them what Vape companies and their peers do not: vaping is dangerous.
He talked to the kids about the e-liquid ingredients like nicotine and propylene glycol that can lead to excess bacteria in the mouth associated with tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, not to mention bad breath. Nicotine has been shown to increase the rate of tooth movement from orthodontics too. That may sound like a good thing but Dr. Schatz said the movement can happen in a way that’s unhealthy for the supporting bone and teeth.
“Vaping can and most likely will present a challenge to orthodontic treatment,” Dr. Schatz told the basketball players.
Several kids and parents asked poignant questions of Dr. Schatz and Jones.
“What happens if a Shooting For Success player is caught vaping?” asked Katy, a mom of a 14-year-old player.
“That player will be removed from the program, potentially long-term,” responded Jones.
Jones and Schatz even discussed pre-thought-out “excuses” players can have ready in their minds if approached about vaping.
Several parents stayed after the program to talk with Jones further about vaping and other peer-related concerns.
“I am very thankful that Dr. Schatz took the time to speak with our player families,” said Jones. “To impact these kids off the court as much as on is a big win in my book.”