How Athletes Can Protect Their Teeth
Without the right protective gear, there are many potential dental injuries that can happen when you play sports.
In fact, sports injuries account for 13-39% of all dental injuries. Most affect at least one of the front teeth, while damage to the tongue and cheeks is also common. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to protect your mouth from injury.
Mouth guard: Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to protect your teeth, lips and tongue. There are several types on the market, but the best option is a custom one from your dentist. A custom-made guard provides the best, most comfortable fit. Another option is a boil-and-bite mouth guard, where the mouth guard is first placed in boiling water, then you bite down on it so the softened plastic molds to your teeth. Of course, make sure the plastic isn’t too hot for your mouth!
Helmet: Helmets are a must-wear protection piece for sports players. Although these won’t necessarily protect your teeth and mouth, they will protect you from head injuries such as concussions. Make sure you wear a helmet that is right for the sport you are playing and fits properly.
If you do experience a sports-related dental injury, visit your dentist as soon as possible, especially if you’ve lost a tooth. Knocked-out teeth can be repaired, but you must seek dental care immediately.