You decide to join some of the neighborhood kids in a pickup game of basketball. You’re about to bring it to the net when *WHAM* — you get an elbow to the face.
You’re doing hot yoga, which you love. You are transitioning from upward facing dog to downward facing dog when you hand hits a small puddle of perspiration on your mat and *WHOOSH* — your hand slips out from underneath you and you face-plant.
It’s time to take your pooches on a walk. Everything is going well until you encounter a neighbor with two of her own dogs. Before you know it, leashes are tangled, dogs are lunging at each other, and *SMASH* — you trip over the leashes and fall face-first onto the asphalt.
These scenarios aren’t meant to make you fearful of leaving your house; they’re meant to make you aware of how a simple misstep can destroy your smile. Now that falls sports are underway, you need to make sure the athletes in your home — both young and young-at-heart — are doing what they can to prevent sports injuries, particularly those that affect the teeth.
How to Protect Your Mouth
Whether you’re in a flag football league or enjoy a game or two of tennis during the weekends, there are two things you can do to protect your teeth: Invest in a quality mouthguard and stay hydrated.
- Mouthguards — They may not look attractive, but they look better than a mouth missing a ton of teeth! Mouthguards are available in every discount retail establishment and sporting goods stores, but in this case, you get what you pay for. Sure, you could buy a 98-cent “boil and bite” mouthguard from Walmart (which is better than nothing), but ultimately, investing in one of good quality is going to offer more protection. Not only are they generally more comfortable, you’re also more likely to actually wear them if they fit properly.
- Hydration — When you’re actively invested in an athletic event, it’s easy to forget to up your intake of water. When you get dehydrated, saliva production decreases; as nature’s way of cleaning your teeth, this means that those with dry mouths are more susceptible to the bacteria that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to drink lots of water, both before you participate in your event and during. If you prefer sports drinks, be cautious, as they are full of sugars and highly acidic, which can lead to tooth decay and enamel damage.
It’s important to stay active, but ultimately you need to do what you can to protect yourself from injury. No matter what your age or preferred sport, be sure to take precautions when you play. If you do happen to experience a sports-related tooth injury, Reston Serenity Smiles would love to help. We proudly serve patients in Reston, Virginia, and the surrounding communities. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.