Summer is the perfect time to engage in thrilling outdoor sports activities. From swimming to soccer, cycling, and skateboarding, the opportunities are endless. However, as much as these activities are a source of joy and a great way to stay active, they can pose risks to your dental health. Damaging your teeth during sports activities is a risk that can be easily mitigated with the right protective measures.
In this blog, we’ll dive deep into the ways you can protect your teeth while enjoying your favorite summer sports. Our aim is to make sure your smiles stay healthy and bright, even amidst all the fun and games.
The Risk to Your Teeth
In sports, dental injuries are more common than you might think. The fast-paced nature of most sports coupled with the physical contact involved can lead to unintended accidents. A misjudged ball, an unplanned fall, or a stray elbow can have a damaging effect on your teeth.
What’s more concerning is that unlike broken bones, damaged teeth don’t heal naturally. Once a tooth is broken or knocked out, the damage is usually permanent, requiring professional dental intervention. This is why it’s essential to prioritize dental safety during your summer sports escapades.
Importance of Athletic Mouthguards
One of the most effective ways to protect your teeth during sports is by wearing an athletic mouthguard. These devices are designed to cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw.
Mouthguards are especially important for contact sports like football, basketball, or hockey. But even non-contact sports and recreational activities, such as skateboarding and mountain biking, can cause injuries that mouthguards can prevent.
Types of Athletic Mouthguards
There are three main types of mouthguards: ready-made or stock, boil-and-bite, and custom-fitted. While all provide some level of protection, their effectiveness and comfort vary significantly. Stock mouthguards are the least expensive but are also the least comfortable and may not fit well.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards offer a better fit than stock mouthguards because they can be shaped around your teeth. For the best protection and comfort, however, consider a custom-fitted mouthguard from your dentist. It will be designed to fit your teeth perfectly, providing maximum protection and comfort during play.
Caring for Your Mouthguard
Just like any other piece of sports equipment, a mouthguard needs to be properly cared for to ensure it stays effective. After each use, rinse it off and let it dry before storing it. Regularly inspect it for wear and tear and replace it if it’s damaged.
For those with custom-fitted mouthguards, periodic appointments with your dentist can help keep your guard in top shape. They can examine it for fit, check for damages, and provide professional cleaning.
Other Protective Measures
Aside from wearing a mouthguard, there are other precautions you can take to protect your teeth. If you’re participating in a contact sport, consider wearing a helmet or face cage. These provide additional protection to your face and jaw.
Also, remember to stay hydrated. Not only does this help you perform at your best, it also promotes saliva production, which naturally cleanses the mouth and protects teeth from decay.
What to Do in Case of a Dental Injury
Despite taking precautions, accidents can still happen. If you or someone else suffers a dental injury, it’s important to act quickly. Try to find any broken pieces or knocked-out teeth, rinse them gently without touching the root, and place them in a container of milk or saline. Then seek immediate dental help. Remember, time is of the essence in these situations. The sooner a knocked-out tooth is reimplanted, the more likely it is to be saved.
Regular Dental Check-ups
Sports safety for your teeth isn’t just about what happens on the field. Regular dental check-ups are essential in maintaining your overall dental health. Dentists can spot potential issues before they become problems and can provide advice tailored to your specific sports and lifestyle.
Moreover, regular professional cleaning can help remove plaque and tartar build-up, which contributes to decay and gum disease. Remember, a healthy mouth is a prerequisite for a truly protective mouthguard.
Protecting your teeth during summer sports activities doesn’t have to be complex. By investing in a suitable mouthguard, caring for it properly, and following good dental practices, you can ensure your smile stays intact no matter how intense the game gets.
If you haven’t had a dental check-up recently, now is the perfect time. Ensure your teeth are in the best condition for all your summer activities. Don’t let dental worries spoil your fun. Book an appointment with Behner Dental and let’s make sure your smile stays as bright as the summer sun!