When Paula Hapurona and the team at Lumino Smile Creations Levin wanted to support their “rugby mad” town with some community spirit, they knew just who to help.

However, Paula, a dental assistant and receptionist at the practice, says they never expected the gratitude and appreciation that came with it.

The Levin Wanderers Rugby B Team needed new mouth guards, and being a mum to one of the players, she knew the guys were wearing the uncomfortable, generic types – the type they’d rather not wear.

The Levin Wanderers Rugby B Team with their new mouth guards.

“Most of the guys buy the generic mouth guards from The Warehouse etc and those are not suitable for all of the team members as they inhibit their ability to breathe (or make them feel like they do),” says Paula.

“If the guys don’t have a mouth guard they aren’t allowed to run onto the paddock,” she adds.

So, Paula and the team set out to make individual and customised mouth guards for each player, free of charge.

The team members had to come into the practice to have their impressions made, and within a few weeks, most of the team were sorted.

Paula says the players were so appreciative of the gesture and adds some of them had never used a customised mouth guard before.

“The ones who used the generic ones in the past were amazed at the difference, especially those who complained about the breathing,” she says.

“I was thanked profusely when we saw them at the games, even received a couple of hugs because they were so wrapped with Lumino’s generosity.”

“This “little” thing went a long way,” she adds.