Sports & Dental Health…What You Should Know

Dental Health Can Take a Hit When it Comes to Some Sports

 

Kids and adults who compete in sports are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, have better mental health and develop stronger bones and muscles. But despite the benefits, dental health takes a hit when it comes to some sports.

Here are some of the top smile-harming offenders:

Basketball
Many contact sports require players to wear facial protection and mouthguards, but basketball is not always among them. Not wearing a mouthguard makes teeth 5Xs more vulnerable to damage, whether it’s from being hit by the ball or a flying elbow.

Football/Hockey
While joint sprains and concussions are the most common injuries out on the field and ice, dental trauma is also frequent. Because playing the sport requires mouthguards, the risk of facial injury is significantly reduced. But your best chance at protecting your teeth is with a mouthguard that fits properly.

Swimming
While swimmers may not make contact with another player or ball, they do make contact with pool chemicals. These chemicals, such as chlorine, can cause swimmers’ calculus, putting athletes at risk for tooth stains and enamel loss. Swimmers who spend more than 6 hours a week at the pool are at the highest risk and should maintain a thorough oral health routine.

Just because your sport isn’t listed above doesn’t mean your teeth are risk-free. Here are 3 things to looks out for, no matter what sport you play:

Dehydration
Salvia keeps cavity-causing bacteria at bay. But athletes who fail to rehydrate properly run the risk of dry mouth, which can lead to cavities.

Sports drinks
Sports drinks are highly acidic, loaded with sugar and erode teeth faster than cola. These beverages should only be consumed after 60-90 minutes of high-intensity workouts and followed by water to wash away the sugar.

Stress
Sports require immense concentration, which can cause athletes to clench their teeth, grinding down enamel. Athletes can prevent the grind by investing in a mouthguard and practicing stress-reducing behaviors.

Until next time, smile on and game on!


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