Have you been watching the College World Series, NBA finals, or Women’s World Cup?
I know I have—it’s amazing to watch these elite athletes at the top of their game. No matter the sport or skill level, athletes need to take care of their teeth on and off the field. If you have athletes of your own at home, here are a few helpful tips from the American Dental Association to keep their tooth game on point.
- Make a mouthguard part of the uniform.
Mouthguards generally cover your top teeth and function to protect your teeth, lip, tongue, face and jaw from sports-related injuries. A properly fitted mouthguard is the key to success. In fact, many sports are not allowing athletes to play without them, like the USA Hockey League.
- Sideline sugary sports drinks.
If you get thirsty on or off the field, reach for water first instead of those sugary drinks. Bacteria in your mouth will use sugar to produce acid that weakens the outer layer of your teeth known as enamel. This will increase your likelihood of getting cavities over time. So when it comes rehydrating, always go with H2O.
- Practice makes perfect.
As with any sport, practicing the basics is key to mastering the game. With your teeth, prioritizing your daily dental home care of brushing and flossing will go a long way to ensure a winning smile. Make sure to brush twice per day and floss at least once per day, and make sure to visit your dentist twice a year for a professional tooth cleaning, mouthguard fit check, and to show off that healthy grin.
I’ll be here cheering you on!
This is Dr. Laurie Hodge with Church Health.