One of the best things about winter is winter sports. Playing in the snow and on the ice is awesome. Getting injured? Not so awesome. Here’s what you need to know about winter sports safety and your teeth to help you ensure that you won’t be sidelined and miss out on the fun.
The Risks of Winter Sports
Whether you’re playing, practicing, or competing, any sport with a risk of contact or falling puts you at risk of dental trauma. Dental trauma can result in serious injuries such as chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked out teeth. When participating in any sport, or just playing in the snow or on an outdoor ice rink for fun, it’s important to understand the risks and how to practice winter sports safety so that you can protect yourself and your family.
Protective Gear Can Make a Difference
Some competitive sports like hockey and skiing require helmets and protective gear, but many do not require protective dental gear. Furthermore, if you’re practicing on your own or playing outdoors for fun, there are no rules or regulations. Whether it’s required or not, protective gear should always be a must, including a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw.
Statistics show that dental injuries are the most common facial injury. At the same time, the American Dental Association estimates that over 200,000 oral or dental injuries are avoided each year thanks to mouthguards. Mouthguards can make a difference, so it’s a good idea to invest in one.
Mouthguards can easily be found at most sporting goods stores or your dentist can fit you with one that is custom molded for added comfort. Whichever type you choose to get, the most important thing is to make sure to wear it!
What to Do if You’re Injured
Unfortunately, dental injuries do sometimes happen. When an injury happens, it’s important to know what to do. First of all, always call a dentist right away. Any dental injury is a dental emergency, so you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. If you can’t reach your dentist immediately or there is excessive bleeding or signs of other serious injuries, leave a message, and head to the nearest emergency room at a hospital.
Safety is Simple
When it comes to winter sports safety, the simple act of always wearing protective gear and making sure your family does, too, can go a long way towards preventing serious injury. Some kids may worry that it’s not the “cool” thing to wear a helmet or mouthguard, but the coolest thing you can do is have a healthy smile, so it’s important to always take good care of your teeth.
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.