Fall in Texas means one thing – sports, prominently football. Professional football, college football, high school football, and peewee football just to name a few. And the fall sees the rise of other sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and cross country as well. All of these sports can make for a fall and exciting fall but can also lead to permanent tooth damage is precautions are not taken.
Here are our top 5 fall sport dental tips to help protect your teeth while still enjoying the sports you love.
Always Wear your Mouth Guard
The number one thing you can do to protect your teeth and the teeth of your children when playing any sport is to wear a mouth guard. Young children may not be used to the feel and resist wearing their protective mouth guard at first but it is very important that you insist. You are building healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Even older children who have been playing sports for a while may become less strict about wearing their mouth guard, but even if they feel they won’t need it you must insist that they wear them. Skipping the mouth guard even just once can result in broken, damaged or even missing teeth.
Keep your Mouth Guards and Teeth Clean
Using your mouth guards are only half the battle. After every use be sure to thoroughly clean your mouth guards. Bacteria can grow on mouth guards much faster than you may think. That bacteria can feed on the sugars in your mouth and cause cavities and a horde of other dental issues.
Let the mouth guards and protective gear work with not against your dental efforts.
Use Water for Hydration
Sports drinks can be great at replenishing electrolytes but oftentimes they can cause unwanted harm to teeth. Many popular sports drinks are loaded with sugar and when used as the primary source of hydration this excess sugar will lead to cavities, gum disease and other dental issues.
Water typically has everything you need to refuel and is pure, unaltered hydration. So skip the fancy, expensive sports drinks and grab a good ole bottle of H2O.
Refuel with Healthy Snack
Every athlete knows nutrition matters. Nutrition is a huge part of athletic performance. Great sources of carbohydrates for sustained energy include whole-grain breads, vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes; which all also help to remove plaque from teeth’s exteriors.
Don’t forget high-protein foods like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy and nuts to help rebuild your muscles.
Make a Dental Emergency Plan
Everyone needs a dentist. Everyone needs to be visiting their dentist at least once twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. However; if you or your children are playing fall sports it’s important to also have a dental emergency plan.
Talk to your dentist about emergency dental situations and make a plan of who to call and where to go in a dental emergency. If you’ve chipped, cracked or lost a tooth the seconds matter!