Taking the best care you can of your teeth can be tricky sometimes, even if you live a perfectly average life. But as a dedicated athlete whose pearly whites encounter lots more potential dangers each day than most people's, taking care of your teeth can seem like a nigh-impossible task – but don't give up yet. If you're a competitive athlete who's worried about taking care of your teeth and are looking for a few pointers for doing so, then here's what you need to know.
Whether you're playing in the big game or just practicing your moves with a few buddies at the park, if your sport requires a helmet during play, you'd better have a helmet during practice. While helmets are generally thought of as simply for protecting your cranium against concussions, most helmets have grills near your mouth that can stop a stray foot from making contact with your teeth. Sure, the helmet may be hot to wear, or you may feel silly or even get teased by your buddies, but when it comes to your teeth, it's better to be safe and embarrassed now than sorry and embarrassed at the dentist's office later.
Guard Your Mouth
The same logic used above to justify the more frequent use of a helmet goes double for using a mouth guard. Mouth guards are normally required in most sports where the chances of contact are high (hockey, football, etc.), and they act as the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your teeth from being chipped, turned, knocked loose, or even smashed clean out of your mouth. While you can get a cheap mouth guard from your local supermarket, it's best to spend a little extra money for a nicer mouth guard from a sports emporium; remember, the better protected your teeth are, the less money you'll have to spend on fixing them.
Keep Up on Tooth Care
While keeping up good dental care is important for everyone, it's even more important to keep your teeth healthy and strong as an athlete. Strong, healthy teeth are less likely to fall out or get knocked out as easily, and good dental health shoves your chances of getting a cavity way down – which is good, since decaying teeth are week teeth. Making sure to blush twice a day, floss once a day, use mouthwash that strengthens your teeth while protecting against cavities, and eating food rich in tooth-strengthening vitamins such as cheese, strawberries, and sesame seeds are all good ways to ensure your teeth are – and will stay – the cream of the crop.
For additional information, contact a dentist in your area.