Are You or Your Kids Athletes? Important Tips to Keep Your Teeth

With fall just around the corner, sports activities are ramping up again making you or your kids vulnerable to oral injury. But sport season means havoc for your dental health in more than one way.

So being aware and prepared can help you keep yours and your family’s smile healthy, strong and beautiful. Let’s talk about important tips to keep your teeth and gums safe from harm.

Tip #1: See The Dentist

We’re going to start with the simplest, and probably the most easily overlooked tip: don’t miss your dental visits.

We get that between work, feeding the family, getting the kids to practice, doing the laundry, and the other one million things that you need to do, it’s extremely tempting to put off seeing the dentist.

But the thing is, seeing the dentist keeps you healthy. You need good health to accomplish that never-ending to-d0 list and participate in sports.

As you already know by now, Dr. James Powell and our team encourage being proactive when it comes to your oral health. And it’s not just so you keep your beautiful smile, but it also improves your general health and well being.

Non disrupted oral bacteria, common in tooth decay and gum disease, pass into your bloodstream leading to many health conditions:

  • Infection of the inner lining of your heart valves or chambers
  • Heart disease
  • Clogged arteries
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy and birth complications
  • Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis bone loss and tooth loss
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain cancers 
  • Sjogren’s syndrome (an immune system disorder that results in dry mouth)

As you can see, keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong is imperative for GOOD HEALTH.

It requires daily effort on your part, and also seeing a trained professional so that we can be sure to do what a toothbrush and floss can’t.

Establishing a good oral home-care routine and seeing our hygienist at the recommended intervals are important steps in ensuring that you stay healthy. The same is true for your kids.

Tip#2: Wear a Protective Mouth Guard

Did you know that sporting accidents make up to 40% of dental injuries in teenagers and adults?

In fact, around 80% of dental injuries impact the front teeth as well as harm the tongue, lips, and inner cheeks! Contact sports like football, field hockey, baseball and soccer can wreak havoc on your mouth and teeth.

High impact sports are a sure-fire way to put your smile in serious danger if a ball or other projectile comes at you at high speed. If you or anyone in your family is an athlete, you’ll want to keep the teeth, gums and oral tissues safe by wearing an athletic mouth guard.

Think of it as a form of protective gear for the mouth, similar to wearing a helmet or face cage to fend off a concussion or wearing elbow and knee guards. You just never know when a ball, elbow or knee will come at you!

An athletic mouth guard can keep you from knocking your teeth or jaw out of place. Whether you play basketball, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, martial arts or boxing, keeping your teeth and gums healthy and intact (especially if you are also wearing braces).

We offer custom-made mouth guards for a more comfortable, secure fit.

Pro Tip: Should an accident happen that breaks or knocks out a tooth, get thee to our dentist, ASAP. Put the tooth in a solution like milk, saliva, or back into the socket (just don’t accidentally swallow it either!) and call our team. Dr. Powell can often save a lost tooth as long as it is done within an hour. But if a tooth can’t be saved, it can be replaced with a dental implant or other tooth restoration.

Tip #3: Avoid Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are tricky. On the one hand, they are seen as a way to increase stamina when you are active. Sports drinks may rehydrate you and boost your energy levels while getting an intense sports workout, but unfortunately, they can also weaken precious tooth enamel.

That’s because they have levels of acid that erode the teeth, leading to hypersensitivity (so it hurts when sugary or hot or cold foods and drinks touch your teeth), and even staining while softening the teeth. Sports drinks also have as much sugar as soda and juices! High acid content and sugar combine to feed harmful bacteria, causing them to get into any cracks and crevices in the teeth to attack the sensitive dentin layer below the enamel. 

Pro Tip: The best drink you can have to rehydrate your body is water when it comes to saving your teeth and gums from tooth decay and cavities. If you still need an electrolyte boost after downing that H20, you’re better off sticking to unsweetened coconut water than those popular sugary sports drinks.

Tip #4: Watch For Dry Mouth

If you have a sticky, dry or burning feeling in your mouth along with trouble chewing, tasting, swallowing or talking, you are likely experiencing dry mouth. Especially if you also have cracked lips and a dry, rough feeling tongue.

Dry mouth happens when your salivary glands don’t pump out enough saliva. And since saliva is the first step when it comes to digesting your food, it’s a dangerous condition because if you don’t have enough saliva, food particles won’t get washed away and your mouth will become a breeding ground for harmful oral bacteria. Along with keeping your mouth moist, saliva also fights off tooth decay by controlling the bacteria, viruses and fungi. If you constantly suffer from dry mouth, you are vulnerable to sores and infections along with tooth decay and cavities.

Pro Tip: The best thing to do is stay hydrated (see above). You can also boost saliva production using dry-mouth products like over-the-counter sprays and lozenges, sugarless gum, sugar-free hard candy and avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco which all interfere with healthy saliva levels.

Schedule Your Visit

At Exceptional Dentistry in Palmdale, CA. we’re ready to help you and your family keep those smiles protected, healthy, and beautiful. Call to get your custom mouth guard or to simply set up your routine dental visit.

When you come in our exceptional dentist, Dr. James D. Powell and our experienced team are happy to show you how to care for your teeth and gums, get the best dental care possible, and have the best athletic experience possible. If you have any questions or concerns about protecting your smile, we welcome you to give us a call, or make an online reservation to see us. The more you know, the better off your smile will be!

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