Athletes and Dental Health

You may have heard the cliché that hockey players are known for missing their two front shutterstock_hockey player missing toothteeth. Did you know that the average slap shot can reach speeds up to 100 mph? It’s no wonder that teeth get knocked out! It’s not just hockey that can cause teeth trauma. Any type of physical contact sport has the potential for problems to arise with oral health. Athletes that are aware of their oral health are less likely to have problems down the road. Here are a few ideas to help keep your teeth healthy while still playing your favorite sport!

  1. Be Preventative: Wear a mouthguard. Typical gear for most contact sports include shin guards, shoulder pads, and a helmet, but don’t forget that mouthguard! Whether it’s made professionally by your dentist or a “boil and bite” from Wal-Mart, just having something to help cushion a blow to the face could save your tooth.
  1. Steer Clear of Sugary Sports Drinks: It’s important to drink electrolytes and hydrate while working out and playing sports, but beware that a lot of drinks labeled as “sports drinks” may also be packed full of sugar. Search for sugar-free beverages or just stick to plain ol’ H20!
  1. Practice Makes Perfect: Just like you have to practice for a sport, you need to practice good oral hygiene habits. Make a routine and stick with it. Your oral hygiene routine should include brushing for 2 minutes twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with an ADA approved mouthwash.

There are athletes who are clearly born to do their trade, but most of us need to practice and are far from perfect. Don’t “bench” taking care of your teeth, you only get one shot at it after all.