Playing sports is fun. It allows you to be active and develop your skills such as perseverance, teamwork, determination, discipline, and social skills. However, no matter how friendly the sport may be, one should still be aware of the potential injuries that he or she may get while playing. In fact, according to Stanford Children’s Health, more than 3.5 million injuries related to sports are being reported every year; and the majority of these are knocked out teeth.
Protecting yourself should be one’s priority especially when playing sports. Most athletes pay attention to their diet and exercise routine to maintain their physical stamina. Protecting your mouth on and off the field must be part of this routine. Below are the 4 things athletes should do to protect the mouth and teeth while playing sports.
- Wear a mouthguard
There is no better way of protecting your teeth when playing sports than wearing a mouthguard, especially on sports that involve a lot of body contact. A mouthguard acts as your teeth’s shock absorber; thus, protecting not only your teeth but also your entire oral cavity from injuries. There are a lot of mouthguards sold at the store that need to be soaked with boiling water before wearing. This option is more affordable; however, if you want to make sure that you are well protected, pay your dentist a visit and order a mouth guard that is custom-fitted for you.
- More water, less sugary sports drinks
Playing sports involves a lot of running and sweating. Thus, you will also tend to get thirsty often. A cold sports drink may be very tempting especially when the weather is hot. Or an energy drink to energize you all throughout the day. These beverages may help quench your thirst; however, they will also affect your teeth. The bacteria present in your mouth will react to the sugar content of sodas and sports drinks, making your teeth weak and susceptible to damage. Grab a bottle of water if you want to rehydrate yourself. Aside from satisfying your thirst, water can also help flush out the toxins out of your body.
- Wear a helmet if necessary
Aside from mouthguard, a helmet has also become a necessity when it comes to high impact sports like baseball, football, men’s lacrosse, and others. A helmet will help absorb the impact of whatever that might come in contact with your face; thus, preventing head and face injuries. Make sure the helmet is comfortable enough and properly fit you.
- Observe proper dental hygiene
Practice proper dental hygiene has always been the rule of the thumb when it comes to protecting your teeth on and off-field. Brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove the food particles and acid from the food that you eat. Make sure to use a toothpaste with fluoride for added protection on teeth. Don’t neglect your routine dental checkup too. Your dentist can help take good care of your teeth better.
Finally, always observe safe play. Your adrenaline rush may get you excited and you may become so competitive and lose your control, however, keep in mind that there is nothing more important than safe playing to avoid injuries during the game.