Discover How to Protect Your Teeth While Playing Sports!
When you play contact sports, it is essential to protect your teeth. Contact sports increase the risk on dental trauma and the loss of teeth can have a severe impact on your speech and the functioning of the mouth. Read on to find out how you can protect your teeth against dental trauma while engaging in contact sports!
Which Sports Increase the Chance On Dental Trauma?
Practicing sports can be healthy for the body, but it can involve a number of risks where dental health is concerned. Not every sport caries a high risk, but certain contact sports can cause dental trauma quicker than others.
Contact sports can be divided into full contact sports and limited contact sports. Full contact sports include sports with physical impact force on players. These sports usually involve actions such as tackling, blocking and hitting.
A few examples of full contact sports are lacrosse, rugby, American football, martial arts, jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. These full contact sports carry the highest risk on dental trauma, so people who engage in these sports should always ensure they are protected at all times.
Limited contact sports carry less risk on dental trauma. Sports that fall under the limited contact sports category will try to prevent contact between players, whether this is intentional or not intentional. Sports that fall under this limited contact sports category are soccer, basketball, volleyball and other team sports where contact between players is avoided.
Many people who engage in limited contact sports will not wear dental protection. However, people who engage in full contact sports should always wear protection, no matter how minimal the risk may seem at the time.
What Protection Can I Use During Contact Sports?
When it comes down to contact sports, most people have two options: a helmet and a mouthguard. The mouthguard is the form of protection that is used the most, since a helmet is not as commonly used in contact sports such as martial arts or kickboxing.
To ensure the best protection for your teeth, we recommend obtaining a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist. Some teams and coaches will provide you with a ready-made mouthguard, but it is important to realise that these mouthguards will not give you the best protection.
Ready-made mouthguards may come in various sizes, but that does not mean they will fit you perfectly. By wearing a mouthguard that does not fit perfectly, you can actually do more harm than good. If your teeth take a force impact at any point, an ill-fitting mouthguard can make it worse.
A custom-made mouthguard will provide the maximum amount of protection. However, there is another denominator to take into account, more specifically the type of sport you engage in. Some materials may be better for specific sports, so it is advised to consult your dentist to determine the best mouthguard for you.
How Do I Maintain a Mouthguard?
People who use a mouthguard during contact sports will have to maintain and clean their mouthguard to ensure maximum protection over a period of time. When you do not clean your mouthguard regularly, you may expose your teeth to bacteria, mould and yeast. A dirty mouthguard can also cause severe infections and asthma, so keeping the mouthguard clean is very important.
When you clean your mouthguard, it is not enough to use water. To ensure that your mouthguard is cleaned properly, we recommend brushing the mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste and soaking your mouthguard in an antimicrobial solution.
Once you have cleaned your mouthguard, be sure to store it in a protective case. If you do not keep your mouthguard in a protective case, bacteria and dirt can pile up in your mouthguard again and jeopardise your dental health.
In addition to cleaning your mouthguard, make sure you clean your protective case as well. Bacteria and dirt can also transfer from the case to the mouthguard, so give your case a regular clean to prevent this from occurring.
When Do I Replace My Mouthguard?
A custom-made mouthguard can last for a very long time, but you will have to replace it at one point. To ensure that your mouthguard stays in the best condition, we recommend taking the mouthguard to the dentist for a check-up.
One can easily detect when their mouthguard needs replacing though, since the mouthguard will show clear signs of wear and tear. Mouthguards that need replacing will have pits and cracks, which can be a real breeding ground for bacteria. The mouthguard can also have rough patches near the gums and can damage both the skin and gums.
Are There Options Available When I Do Lose a Tooth?
Even if you provide the necessary forms of protection while engaging in contact sports, there is always a chance that you lose one of your teeth on impact. However, there are options out there if you should lose a tooth. One of these options is the dental implant, a solution that looks, acts and feels like a normal tooth.
The Malo Clinic is the Australian expert in dental implants and has provided many dental implants to people who have lost several teeth because of contact sports. If you have lost a single tooth during contact sports, you can get a replacement tooth with one dental implant. However, if you have lost several teeth, you can choose several dental implants or All-On-4 dental implants.
All-On-4 dental implants are most suited for people who suffered a loss of jawbone. When you lose your teeth, the jawbone may start to deteriorate because it is no longer stimulated by the presence of teeth. If you have lost a considerable amount of jawbone, you may not be eligible for normal dental implants. This is where the All-On-4 dental implants can provide you with a solution.
To find out more about dental implants and the treatments available at the Malo Clinic, please refer to our information pages. For additional information, you can also attend one of our free information evenings or order the free All-On-4 booklet from the Malo Clinic website.