Do you enjoy sports? Here’s how to make sure your smile doesn’t suffer!
Whether you’re charging into a scrum or coasting down a hill on your skateboard, the dental advice is the same: protect your teeth! An American study reported that between 13-39% of dental injuries are sports-related and a Brazilian study found that 28% of athletes surveyed had suffered a dental trauma. That means that your chances of damaging your teeth when doing sports is roughly 1 in 4. Those are frightening odds and not a risk you need to run, if you just take some simple precautions.
1. Prevent damage
- Wear a sports mouth guard. You already do this if you’re a boxer, or if you play rugby, but mouth guards are equally important whenever you’re engaged in a sport that involves contact or flying objects. Even the seemingly genteel badminton has a hard-nosed shuttlecock than can knock your front teeth out, so don’t be fooled. The best mouth guards are the bespoke ones we make for you from impressions. The resulting snug fit will be much more comfortable than anything off the shelf and will protect your teeth far better by holding them securely in place if there is an impact.
- Rinse with water. When hydrating, be careful which drinks you choose. While some sports drinks are good for performance, as they contain electrolytes, many also contain shocking amounts of sugar which, apart from undoing the general health benefits of doing sports in the first place, will erode the enamel off your teeth. This leaves them more sensitive and also vulnerable to decay. If you do drink them, rinse with water afterwards and delay brushing, to give the enamel a chance to recover.
2. Repair damage
- Fix any chips or cracks. Accidents happen and if you do suffer any minor dental damage, don’t worry – we can help. Small chips and cracks can be filled with a tooth-coloured composite material to match your natural tooth colour. More substantial damage can be either covered over with a porcelain veneer (like a false nail for your teeth) or with a crown.
- Replace knocked-out teeth. What if your tooth or teeth are knocked out completely? Don’t panic. If possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it to us as soon as you can – we just might be able to put it back in your mouth! If not, then there are permanent tooth replacement options, which include dental implants and bridges.