3 Sports that Compromise Smile Safety

Kids and adults who compete in sports are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, have better mental health and develop stronger bones and muscles. But despite the benefits, dental health takes a hit when it comes to some sports.

Sports Hurt Dental Health

Despite the benefits of sports, dental health can take a hit when it comes to some sports.

Basketball

Contact sports require players to wear facial protection and mouthguards, but basketball requires no such thing. This makes teeth 5Xs more vulnerable to damage, whether it’s from being hit by the ball or a flying elbow. Avoid being a statistic next time you hit the court and wear a mouthguard.

Football/Hockey

While joint sprains and concussions are the most common injuries out on the field and ice, dental trauma is also frequent.

Because the sport requires mouthguards, the risk of facial injury is significantly reduced. But your best chance at protecting your teeth is with a mouthguard that fits properly.

Swimming

While swimmers may not make contact with another player or ball, they do make contact with pool chemicals. These chemicals, such as chlorine, can cause swimmers’ calculus, putting athletes at risk for tooth stains and enamel loss.

Swimmers who spend more than 6 hours a week at the pool are at the highest risk and should maintain a thorough oral health routine.

Other Sports-related Smile Issues

Just because your sport isn’t listed above doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk to your oral health. Here are 3 things to look out for, no matter which sport you play:

  • Dehydration: Salvia keeps cavity-causing bacteria at bay. But athletes who fail to rehydrate properly run the risk of dry mouth, which can lead to cavities. Here are other reasons why you should drink water.
  • Sports drinks: Sports drinks are highly acidic, loaded with sugar and erode teeth faster than cola. These beverages should only be consumed after 60-90 minutes of high-intensity workouts and followed by water to wash away the sugar.
  • Stress: Sports require immense concentration, which can cause athletes to clench their teeth, grinding down enamel. Athletes can prevent the grind by investing in a mouthguard and practicing stress-reducing behaviors.

Until next time, smile on and game on!

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