How Do You Protect Your Teeth During Sports?

How Do You Protect Your Teeth During Sports?

Feb 17, 2023

Playing sports, professionally or just for fun, is a great way to stay fit and maintain a healthy body. However, certain sports pose a risk to your oral health. The possibility of receiving a blow to your face or jaw during high-contact games shouldn’t surprise you.

Sports accidents are among the primary causes of oral injuries like teeth damage, soft tissue injuries, and jaw damage. Even worse, sports accidents can also cause head and brain injuries. Some popular high-contact sports that can lead to dental injuries include football, boxing, cricket, rugby, field hockey, MMA, and polo.

Proactively caring for your teeth and mouth during sports is the best way to reduce your risk of injuries and keep your mouth and body healthy. Below are five safety tips to protect your teeth and mouth during contact sports.

  • Always wear a mouthguard.

A sports mouthguard is undoubtedly one of the best ways to prevent dental damage and other oral injuries during sports. Athletes and people who engage in high-contact games like hockey, rugby, and boxing are at a greater risk of receiving a blow to the face or jaw, which can cause mild to severe oral injuries.

Wearing a mouthguard prevents your upper and lower teeth from crashing against each other, which can potentially cause chips, cracks, or even knock out a tooth. The mouthguard also acts as a shock absorber, absorbing the impact of a blow and distributing it across the jaw to prevent spot injuries.

When considering a sports mouthguard, there are three main options, stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom mouthguards. Stock and boil-and-bite guards are pre-made and come in several sizes. Since everyone’s jaw and mouth are unique, it can be challenging to find an excellent fit. Similarly, these guards tend to be bulky and low-quality.

custom sports mouthguard from your dentist is your best option. The guard is based on the specific structure of your jaw and mouth, offering the best protection and comfort. The guard is also made from quality materials, making it more durable.

  • Wear a helmet.

If you’re participating in high-impact sports like hockey, biking, car racing, and skating, wearing a helmet is an excellent way to protect your head and mouth from injuries. Ensure you get a well-fitting, quality helmet to keep you comfortable and reduce your risk of injuries.

  • Stay hydrated.

Most sports can cause you to breathe rapidly, prompting you to breathe through the mouth. That can lead to insufficient saliva production and a dry mouth.

Unfortunately, this makes you more vulnerable to bacteria and acid attacks that erode your teeth’ enamel, making them more susceptible to damage and decay. Staying hydrated throughout sports helps maintain strong teeth and reduces your risk of injuries.

  • Avoid sugary and acidic sports drinks.

While these items can help improve your energy and performance, they do so at the expense of your oral health. Your mouth has millions of bacteria that feed on the sugars from our foods and drinks. Sugars cause the bacteria to increase and overgrow rapidly. These bacteria release harmful acids that erode your teeth and make them susceptible to infections and injuries. If you use these drinks, you should rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash afterward, or better yet, consider water for hydration.

  • Schedule routine dental check-ups.

Routine dental exams are also crucial for maintaining healthy and strong teeth, making them less vulnerable to sports injuries. Visiting your dentist twice a year allows them to check your mouth for potential problems like decay, dental trauma, and gum disease. It allows for early diagnosis and treatment of oral issues.

The dentist also cleans your mouth to eliminate bacterial plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth. If not cleaned, these deposits release toxic acids that erode and weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to fractures and decay.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Have you sustained any oral injuries during sports? Or are you interested in custom sports mouthguards for teeth protection? Contact Hammond Pond Dental Group to speak with our dentist in Chestnut Hill, MA.

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