Hello everyone! I recently attended the annual meeting for the Academy for Sports Dentistry in San Francisco, CA. It's an event that I have wanted to attend for years. Being a former high school and collegiate-level athlete, sports have always interested me. Now that I've turned in my cleats for a dental drill, caring for athletes' dental health is a natural fit.
3 MAJOR TAKEAWAYS
- Dental sports injuries can lead to lifelong dental problems that are painful and expensive. While oral/facial injuries in sports don't happen often, when they do, most could be prevented if the athlete had been wearing a custom-fit mouthguard made by a dental professional. Studies show that "boil-and-bite" style mouthguards are not effective in preventing injuries. Unfortunately, these are the most accessible and least expensive option, which means most of our young athletes are probably wearing them. If you or your children are in contact sports, make sure they are ready for the field, court, or rink by getting a custom mouthguard made just for them.
- The acidity level of beverages consumed by young athletes (and the rest of us!) is damaging to teeth. Did you know that even bottled water can be acidic? Two major water bottle distributors increase the acidity of their water to improve the flavor. Acidity erodes enamel and creates an environment that cavity-causing bacteria thrives. Tap water and milk are your best options.
- If a tooth falls out, rinse it with water and put it back in the socket. If you're not comfortable doing that, rinse the tooth with water and place it in a clean container with cold milk (skim is preferred). Seek help from a dentist as soon as possible (within 30 to 60 minutes is best).
Do you have questions about how to care for your teeth while playing sports? Ask me about a fully customized mouthguard, acidic beverages, or tooth trauma. I'm happy to help!