Dental Safety in Sports

It may not always feel like it when you step outside, but spring is just around the corner. With spring comes spring sports! There’s nothing like exercise and teamwork, but as anyone who’s played sports will tell you, there’s always the occasional trip or stray ball to the face that can put a damper on spring fun.

Regardless of age, everyone who participates in sports — from track and field to tennis and beyond — runs some risk of dental damage. Fortunately, it’s easy to take precautions that can spare your or a loved one from damaged teeth and dental pain!

What Can I Do to Protect My Teeth?

Depending on your sport of choice, there are different methods of protection that will most benefit your teeth. You can use one, all, or a combination of different tactics to protect your smile!

Equipment

The most obvious form of dental protection is a mouthguard. Mouthguards are especially useful for sports with physical contact, like football, soccer, lacrosse, or hockey, among others.

Generic over-the-counter mouthguards can provide some protection, but meeting with your dentist to commission a customized mouthguard will do much more for you in the long run. Remember, customized mouthguards can be twenty times cheaper than replacing a missing tooth.

Helmets are another piece of equipment that can go a long way towards saving your smile. While we often think of helmets as only protecting the head, they also help protect your mouth from getting banged, jostled, or elbowed.

Make sure you wear the helmet that’s right for your activity of choice if you want maximum protection; a bike helmet won’t do much to help you on a football field! Always wear the safety equipment that comes with your sport. Your teeth will thank you.

Other Considerations

Some sports don’t come with protective equipment. In cases like those, one of the most important things you can do is consider your surroundings. If you’re a swimmer, for example, make sure your swimming area of choice is well-maintained. Believe it or not, swimming in water with a low Ph can begin to wear away the enamel on your teeth!

If you gravitate towards outdoor activities, make sure you know the terrain you’re going to be on and that your abilities match the trail you’ve chosen. Always make sure you’re well-equipped and know the area you’re going to for your overall safety as well as your dental health.

Remember, prevention can go a long way! You’ll save yourself time, money, and pain by taking a few easy precautions now.