Athletes use their bodies as the principal tool for their trade, spending countless of hours to build muscles and stamina. To keep their bodies in optimum shape, protective gear is also an essential part of the mix. Wearing the proper gear can prevent serious harm that can potentially be devastating to one’s career.
Dental injuries just like muscle sprains and broken bones are part of an athlete’s training. According to statistics, about 13 – 39 percent of dental injuries are from sports-related activities. If you want to keep your pearly whites perfect, make protecting your teeth a priority too. Too often, dental hygiene is seen more as a cosmetic need than a serious health issue. The truth is, having poor oral health can lead to serious diseases that will be much harder and more expensive to cure in the future.
Here are some effective tips on how athletes can preserve their smile:
1. Wear a protective mouthguard.
Mouthguards can oftentimes be overlooked but they are just as important as helmets and paddings. These mouth protectors act as a cushion that softens the blow during impact, protecting your teeth, mouth tissues and face. Think of mouthguards as an integral part of your uniform, so that you never take them for granted and make it a practice to carry more than one in your bag or in your locker.
There are several types of mouth protectors in the market right now. When choosing the right piece for you, go for the one that offers a snug yet comfortable fit. For the best-fitting option, go to your dentist for a custom-made mouthguard.
2.. Go easy on the sports drinks.
While sports drinks contain active ingredients to help you rehydrate, some also have a lot of sugar. If you drink too much beverages, the bacteria in your mouth produces a harmful acid that eats the outer shell of your teeth. If this is neglected, plaque and cavities will damage your smile.
To avoid consuming too much sugar, be wary of the ingredients in your energy drinks. If you have to drink a sugary sports drink, do it in moderation. The best way is to make your own mix and choose ingredients that are nutritious and healthy.
3. Practice good oral hygiene.
Prevention is the key to avoid potentially serious dental issues and injuries. No matter how busy your schedule gets, make it a point to always brush and floss regularly. A lot of athletes and sports enthusiasts have a tendency to get lazy with dental hygiene because their bodies are tired from all the hard work and training. This bad habit can lead to serious dental issues in the future.
Keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy by brushing two times a day and flossing regularly. Make sure to visit your dentist every six months or whenever necessary, to check the state of your oral health. When teeth are healthy, they are strong and less likely to break even during physical activities. Weak teeth, on the other hand, will easily chip and break, even when you are wearing protection.