Sports are a great way to stay active, have fun and even make friends. But sports can also put your teeth at risk for injury. From baseballs to hockey pucks, any hard object that makes contact with your face can cause damage or injury to teeth—especially when you’re not wearing the proper protective equipment. That’s why it’s important to understand the risks of oral health in sports and know how to protect your teeth.
The Risks of Oral Health in Sports
Playing sports can cause serious injuries to your teeth and mouth, including broken or chipped teeth, knocked out teeth, or even lacerations to the soft tissues of your mouth. The severity and type of injury depends on what type of sport you’re playing, how frequently you play, and whether or not you’re wearing protective equipment.
Wearing Protective Equipment
Wearing a mouthguard is one of the best ways to protect your teeth while playing sports. It’s even recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) for athletes of all ages and skill levels. A mouthguard acts as a cushion between your upper and lower teeth, absorbing the shock of an impact and reducing the risk of injury. Make sure to choose an ADA-approved mouthguard that fits comfortably in your mouth and won’t interfere with speech or breathing.
Oral Hygiene Habits
Good oral hygiene habits are also important for athletes. Brush and floss regularly, as well as use an antiseptic mouthwash to keep your gums and teeth healthy. This will ensure that any injuries sustained while playing sports don’t cause further issues.
Consulting with Dentist
It’s also important to consult with your dentist if you experience any pain, discomfort, or physical changes in your mouth while playing sports. Your dentist can diagnose and treat any oral health problems that arise as a result of playing sports.
Sports and oral health go hand in hand—and it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by playing sports without proper protective equipment or good oral hygiene habits. Wearing a mouthguard, maintaining good oral hygiene habits, and consulting with your dentist can all help ensure that your teeth remain healthy and injury-free.
Yes, wearing a mouthguard is recommended by the American Dental Association for all athletes who participate in contact or collision sports. A mouthguard acts as a cushion between your upper and lower teeth, reducing the risk of injury.
Make sure to choose an ADA-approved mouthguard that fits comfortably in your mouth and won’t interfere with speech or breathing. If you’re unsure which type is best for you, consult with your dentist who can help make a recommendation.
Yes, brushing and flossing regularly, as well as using an antiseptic mouthwash, can help prevent further damage to your teeth if you experience an injury while playing sports.