Most athletes are mindful of what they do every day. They eat a healthy diet, sleep early and follow a strict schedule when training in and outside the gym. But that routine should also include taking care of their mouth and teeth every day. So they won’t miss a crucial game because of a toothache or any issue that requires immediate dental treatment. Here are some simple ways athletes can take better care of their teeth.
1. Wear a mouthguard during games or tournaments.
If you’re playing basketball, rugby or any contact sports, you should make a mouthguard part of your uniform. You should wear it not only in tournaments but also during practice games. It can help protect your teeth, tongue, lips and jaw against injuries. You don’t know when an accidental blow or bump leads to a debilitating mouth injury. It doesn’t matter what type of mouthguard you wear—just make sure it fits you properly. If possible, buy a custom mouthguard for full protection.
2. Skip sugary sports drinks.
If you need to quench your thirst, choose water instead of a sports drink. While popular sports drinks can help you rehydrate, some of them contain a lot of sugar. It’s no secret that sugar isn’t good for your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth use sugar to produce an acid that weakens your teeth’s outer shell, increasing your risk for oral cavities over time. Skip sugary sports drinks to maintain your oral health. If you can’t end your training day without a tasty drink, replace sugary sports drinks with high-protein shakes.
3. Brush, floss, rinse and repeat.
As an athlete, you know that practice makes perfect. You are also probably aware of the value of routines or repeating a task when mastering your shooting or defensive skills. Do the same with your daily oral habits. Keep your teeth healthy and strong by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. You can also rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash for added protection. When your teeth are healthy and free of decay & fillings, they are less likely to be damaged if a sports injury occurs.
4. Get teeth whitening treatment.
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t the first thing you’d think of when it comes to taking care of athletes’ teeth. But it’s still a good way to feel more confident on the court. If you don’t have the time or resources to go through comprehensive orthodontic treatment, you can start with teeth whitening. You can have your teeth whitened in just an hour through a professional in-chair dental whitening. Using at-home whitening kits is also a good option. Just be sure to pick a safe, effective product.
As you improve your skills or strength as a basketball or tennis athlete, don’t forget about your oral health. Never let a bad toothache or a sudden sports injury take you away from a crucial match. Follow the tips above, and you can take better care of your teeth every day.