May 2017 Dental Newsletter
Dental Care for Athletes
What do sports have to do with your oral health? More than you think! Adults and children getting involved in sports should all take the easy precaution of wearing mouth protection. Simply making a smart choice about what to drink after exercise will also have a positive and long-lasting impact on your oral health. Keep these things in mind this season as you and your family get active!
Athletes in any contact sport are required to wear some kind of mouth protection, and the average person involved in sports activities should follow this example. A mouth guard helps prevent damage to the teeth, jaw, cheeks, tongue, and lips.
The best protection for your teeth will always be a mouth guard made of thin, hard plastic that was custom fit by a dentist. Most sporting goods stores carry generic mouth guards, but these are often bulky and uncomfortable, leading to child and teenage athletes in particular not wearing the protection at all. Custom mouth guards can be fit over braces and won’t interrupt normal speaking or breathing.
In 2015 the CustMbite MVP mouth guard became the first athletic mouth guard to be awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance, making it a recommended alternative to a fully custom mouth guard. The CustMbite guard can be heated at home by an adult, making the material moldable before being fitted.
We always see sports drinks advertised as a quick, refreshing cool down and instant replenishing of electrolytes. The truth remains that water is the best way to hydrate, and some sports drinks have a high sugar content. Sugar, of course, is the biggest threat in the war on cavities and sugary drinks expose teeth to a lot of it. Even with a regular brushing and flossing routine, what you drink throughout the day contributes to cavities forming. Water cleans your mouth with every sip and even helps freshen breath, making it the clear winner in the game of hydration!