From the adrenaline-pumping thrill of competitive matches to the camaraderie built through team sports, engaging in athletic activities can be immensely rewarding. However, amidst all the excitement and exertion, it’s easy to overlook an essential aspect of overall health – your dental hygiene. Just like your body’s muscles and joints, your teeth require special attention to ensure they stay strong and healthy as you pursue your sporting passions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of dental care in sports.
Engaging in sports can inadvertently expose your teeth to various risks, making them vulnerable to damage and decay. Understanding these connections can empower you to take better care of your oral health while staying active.
Sports and Oral Trauma:
Contact sports often involve physical collisions, which could lead to direct trauma to the face and mouth. Even non-contact sports such as scootering and skateboarding have risks of impact on the mouth. A properly fitted mouthguard is critical protective gear that can significantly reduce the risk of broken teeth as well as injuries to the lips and cheeks. Dental trauma, especially at a young age, will commit you to a lifetime of expensive dental treatment. At Kennett Road Dental we can take a 3-D scan of your teeth to make your customised mouthguard- in any colour or combination of colours you want!
Dehydration and Dental Health:
Staying hydrated during physical activity is crucial, but some sports drinks can be full of sugars that cause tooth decay. Many of these drinks are also acidic which leads to enamel erosion if these are drunk frequently during sporting activities. Additionally, mouth dryness caused by dehydration can create an environment where harmful bacteria thrive, leading to cavities and gum problems.
So, how do we recommend you look after your oral health when playing sports?
Always wear a mouthguard
Invest in a high-quality, well-fitted mouthguard to protect your smile. Custom-fit mouthguards from your dentist offer the best combination of comfort and safety and are the ones recommended by all UK sporting organisations.
Drink plenty of water
Choose water as your primary source of hydration. If you use sports drinks, opt for those with lower sugar content but remember these are also acidic so drink them only occasionally- not frequent sips. After consuming sugary drinks, rinse your mouth with water to help mitigate the effects of acids on your teeth.
Prioritise your dental hygiene routine
Maintain a consistent dental hygiene routine, including brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and using floss and interdental brushes. Consider brushing your teeth after your sports session to remove any accumulated debris and bacteria.
Consume a balanced diet
Consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support strong teeth and bones. Incorporate foods like leafy greens, dairy products, lean proteins, and whole grains. Foods that are beneficial for your overall health are also good for your dental health!
Visit your dentist and hygienist for regular check-ups
Schedule regular dental check-ups to catch any potential dental issues early. You will not perform at your best if you have a toothache! Your dentist and hygienist can provide personalised advice on maintaining oral health based on your sports and lifestyle. After all, you will want that bright, winning smile when you achieve your sporting goals!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a dental check-up, please don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Oxford dentists at Kennett Road Dental Practice. We’re always here and happy to help!