Defense wins championships. Never underestimate the heart of a champion. Practice makes perfect. The regular season is won in the offseason. Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.
Sports clichés are common. You could fill up a dozen NFL stadiums with them. Since they’re so popular, it wouldn’t hurt to add just one more: All athletes should take care of their teeth – especially on the court, field, or ice.
A quick note about the sport that plays on ice…many National Hockey League (NHL) players are resigned to the fact they’ll lose teeth during their careers. According to a recent study, more than half of NHL players are missing teeth due to fights, flying pucks, hip checks, collisions, concussions slap shots, and more.
While some sports are clearly more tenaciously anti-teeth than others, it’s not like proper tooth care is a burden to supreme athletic achievement. Steph Curry, one of the most popular basketball players on the planet, has made his mouth guard part of his brand (even if, during free throws, it’s not actually in his mouth).
Staying on top of your oral healthcare shouldn’t stop when you step onto the field. At Dr. Dental, we’ve helped athletes protect their teeth with common sense measures. Because physical contact can be problematic for teeth, sports are hazardous for those pearly whites – if you’re not sure how to protect your teeth.
With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful for athletes of any skill level – from the Pee-Wee leagues to professionals playing in the NBA finals or Stanley Cup playoffs – to know how to protect their teeth.
The Tooth Protection Game Plan
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your teeth out of harm’s way – even if your sport involved frequent physical contact.
- Wear a mouth guard. We’re talking to you, Steph Curry. And we’re also talking to athletes all over the country. Any sport without helmet use involves athletes susceptible to mouth injuries. Mouth guards prevent chipped and cracked teeth, and also trauma involving the lips and tongue. For superior all-around protection, always wear a mouth guard.
- Put those helmets on. Protecting your teeth starts with protecting your head. That’s one reason why the NHL mandated helmet use – and as a result, tooth loss among hockey players has been reduced in the past few years. Ensure your helmet fits properly, and all associated safety equipment – masks, chin straps, etc. – are properly working.
- Sideline those sports drinks. Many of the most popular sports drinks are loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other ingredients responsible for tooth decay. Our suggestion? Go with nature’s #1 hydrating beverage: water.
- Tooth care requires some overtime work. Proper tooth care takes some effort. Just because you wear a mouth guard, that doesn’t mean you can slack off at home. Brush your teeth 2-3 times daily. Floss regularly. Visit your dentist. Sometimes, you have to work a little harder into overtime to achieve the results you need – and the same goes for your teeth!
- Visit your dentist. If you’re not sure about your sport’s unique tooth care requirements, of if you’re interested in finding other ways to protect your teeth, visit your dentist. Dr. Dental’s team of dentists work with hundreds of athletes, and we can help come up with smart, common sense strategies, no matter what sport you play!
Dr. Dental – Helping Athletes Achieve a Winning Smile All Season Long!
Dr. Dental offers a complete line of dental services for athletes all across the New England region. If you need help getting ready for the upcoming season, stop by today at any of our regional offices. With over 40 locations (Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) Dr. Dental can put together a game plan for superior oral healthcare, regardless of your sport.
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