Participation in sports is a great way to stay active and healthy, promote strong interpersonal relationships, and even develop leadership qualities that last a lifetime. For all the good things sports can provide, though, they do come with their fair share of risks. One of the risks involved in sports is dental injuries such as busted or knocked-out teeth. Avoiding these types of injuries should be an important part of any preparations for those involved in sports, as it can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health.
Sometimes, dental injuries in sports, just like car accidents on the road, are unavoidable. At the same time, just like you can help prevent a car accident by practicing good driving habits, you can give yourself a better chance of avoiding a dental injury by regularly practicing the sport you’re involved in. Solid practice allows better understanding of the fundamentals of the game you’re playing, as well as a higher proficiency in the more technical aspects. Together, this allows you to pay more attention to the players around you, rather than on yourself, aiding you in avoiding collisions that can lead to dental injuries.
Wear the Correct Gear
To be sure, wearing a mouth guard isn’t the most enjoyable experience. At times, it can be big, bulky, and uncomfortable, not to mention feeling totally unnatural. However, as unpleasant as it may be, ensuring you are always wearing your mouth guard is far and away the best method for preventing dental injuries in sports. If this is something you struggle with, it might make sense to make putting in your mouth guard part of your practice regimen, just so it will become an ingrained habit that is unlikely to be broken. That way, when game day arrives, and you’re thinking about a thousand other things, you won’t forget to put that mouth guard back in after every timeout.
Get the Right Treatment
Even with the best preparation and gear, you might still suffer a dental injury while playing a sport. If that happens, receiving quality care is crucial to ensuring you enjoy a quick recovery, while also preventing damage and injury to your other teeth. Don’t guess about a dental injury—if you’re feeling discomfort, go to a dentist like Cambridge City Dental, who can do a thorough evaluation, including X-rays, to see exactly what the problem is. Unlike other dental injuries you may receive, dental injuries received while participating in sports are easy to overlook since they’re often received at the height of the competition, and the adrenaline can cover over the severity of the injury. Don’t risk your oral health, though: swallow your pride and visit a dentist as soon as possible.
Keep Everything in Perspective
Most dental injuries in sports are received in the heat of battle, when two competitors who refuse to give in face-off on a specific play. While sports are fun and even important, unless you’re a professional athlete, winning the game ultimately has no implications five minutes after the game is over. Your teeth and the rest of your body, however, will be with you for a lifetime, so when things escalate, ask yourself if a major battle is really worth it. Not that you shouldn’t try to win the game, after all, nobody likes to lose. Just use wisdom and discernment to decide just how involved to get, especially since you don’t have a paycheck riding on the outcome of the game, but you may have several paychecks riding on fixing any dental injuries that you receive.