3 Things All Athletes Should Do for Their Teeth
September 2nd, 2021
Make a Mouthguard Part of Your Uniform
Helmet? Check. Knee pads? Check. Mouthguard? Check! Mouthguards usually cover your upper teeth and protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face and jaw against injuries, so they need to be part of your uniform in any sport you play.
Wearing a mouthguard regularly becomes second nature. It does not matter what type of mouthguard you choose, just make sure it fits properly.
In fact, many sports won’t let you play without one. USA Hockey requires all youth players to wear a mouthguard. “The referees have to be able to see it, and it has to be colored,” says Dr. Long, a former college hockey player and team dentist for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.
Sideline Sugary Sports Drinks
If you need to quench your thirst, reach for water instead of a sports drink. The bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar from your sports drink to produce an acid that weakens the hard outer shell of your teeth, which may increase your risk for cavities over time. This bacteria can sit in your mouth guard and attack your enamel the entire time it's in during play.
Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat
Practice makes perfect when you’re mastering the skills of any sport, so do the same with your daily dental habits. An unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged if a sports injury happens. A tooth that has had a lot of decay and a lot of fillings is nowhere near as strong as a tooth that has not had decay and has not had a lot of fillings.
Keep your smile strong by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. Then, in the home stretch of your daily dental routine, use an ADA-Accepted mouthwash.