3 Ways Athletes Can Take Care of Their Teeth
Successful athletes have discipline, drive, and determination that propels them toward the top. Whether you’re a professional athlete or your child is just starting to play on a little league team, it’s important to be disciplined in oral hygiene and determined to do whatever it takes to keep your mouth healthy. Here are three ways athletes can take care of their teeth.
1. Wear a Mouthguard
The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages athletes of any age, in any contact sport, to include a mouthguard as a part of their uniform. The more consistent a player becomes at wearing a mouthguard, the more natural it will feel. Mouthguards are crucial in protecting your teeth, jaw, tongue, and face from injury. Make sure that the mouthguard fits appropriately to receive the greatest amount of protection. You can bring your mouthguard to dental cleaning appointments and our hygienists will clean your mouthguard and ensure it still fits correctly.
2. Avoid Sugary Sports Drinks
If you’re thirsty after a grueling practice or game, drink water rather than a sports drink. Most sports drinks contain too much sugar. The sugar from sports drinks will create acid in your mouth that weakens your enamel and leaves you susceptible to cavities. Younger athletes are tempted to believe that sugary sports drinks are necessary because that’s what the pros drink. However, Dr. Thomas Long, a private practice dentist and team dentist for the National Hockey Leagues’ Carolina Hurricanes says, “[professional athletes’] diets are so well-managed they just don’t have a lot of sugar. They make their own sports drinks, and they’re more high-protein shakes than sugary sports drinks.”
3. Brush and Floss Daily
Athletes that want to be successful at their sport know the value of discipline and believe that practice does make perfect. This is true on and off the field. When it comes to successful oral hygiene, you must be disciplined to brush and floss your teeth daily. Having healthy teeth and gums can even prevent sports injuries. “A tooth that has had a lot of decay and a lot of fillings is nowhere near as strong as a tooth that has not had decay and has not had a lot of fillings,” Dr. Long says.
Anderson & Atkins, DDS is a family dentistry committed to helping athletes of all ages have healthy teeth and gums. If you want to make sure your mouthguard fits correctly or schedule a routine cleaning to prevent cavities and decay, contact us today.