Working out, exercising and playing sports are all great activities for your health, but it’s important to know how to protect your teeth when preparing for any work out session or game. Here’s what you should know about sports and dental health.
Just like it’s important to wear a helmet and protective pads to protect the rest of your body, it’s also important to think about protective gear for your teeth and jaw. With some sports, such as hockey or football, this includes a facemask built into the helmet. With many other sports and activities, though, facemasks are not common or recommended and it becomes extra important.
Most dentists recommend wearing a mouthguard or sports guard when exercising or playing a sport that might put you at risk of trauma to your mouth or jaw. Even when wearing a facemask, mouthguards are important to protect your teeth and jaw in case of impact that can jar your teeth. Mouthguards can be found at many sports stores and drug stores or your dentist may fit you with one that is custom molded to fit your mouth. Talk with your dentist about which kind might best suit your needs and activity.
Drinking lots of fluids with electrolytes is important for staying hydrated while exercising, but it’s important to keep your teeth in mind when choosing what to drink. Many popular sports drinks contain a lot of sugar which can contribute to cavities. If you drink something that contains sugar, make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards and brush your teeth as soon as possible. It may also help to use a water bottle with a built in straw to limit how much the sugar comes in contact with your teeth. Sports and dental health can go hand in hand with a bit of extra thought!
When thinking about sports and dental health, it may seem like a minor issue to bring up dry mouth, but dry mouth can not only be pretty uncomfortable, it may also lead to long term problems that are serious such as gum disease and cavities.
Saliva is your body’s natural defense against cavities, so when you experience dry mouth, it can also mean that your teeth are being left unprotected. Saliva works to keep the bacteria and pH balance of your mouth in check, so when salvia flow is low, make sure to hydrate. If dry mouth persists, it’s also a good idea to ask your dentist about it. They may recommend a special mouthwash or other ideas to help.
When to See a Dentist
When it comes to sports and dental health, just a few simple things can go a long way to help prevent future problems, but it’s also important to know when to see your dentist. If you experience trauma to your mouth or jaw, a chipped or broken tooth, or a head injury, even if you haven’t noticed damage to your teeth yet, it’s best to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible so that serious damage or infection doesn’t set in. If you play contact sports regularly, you may also want to talk to your dentist about a plan in case of emergency to help ensure quick treatment and the best possible outcome.
Call our Dowagiac Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.