Spring Sports and Protecting Teeth

Alpers Dental in Epsom, Auckland | Spring Sports and Protecting Teeth

Spring is coming, and it’s time to get out the house and have some fun! And part of spring fun is spring sports! But when you are playing a sport, you need to protect yourself. You probably don’t think about putting on layers and layers of padding when you play baseball, softball, soccer or another warm-weather sport, but you should make sure you protect your mouth from fast-flying balls, bats and even team mates’ elbows!

orthodontics epsom aucklandThe staff at Alpers Dental want to make sure that you stay safe while you’re having fun. Here are some tips for protecting your teeth while playing spring sports:

Mouthguards

Mouthguards are an important piece of equipment when playing most sports. They can protect teeth from being knocked out, chipped or broken, preventing a lot of pain and the need for a lot of orthodontic work!

You have a variety of mouthguards to choose to buy at sporting goods stores. You can buy a ready-made mouthguard or you can get what is known as a “boil-and-bite” guard, which you soften in hot water and then place in your mouth to get the fit just right. These types of guards typically last two to three months.

However, for maximum comfort and protection, your best bet is to have your dentist make you a mouthguard. These custom-fitted guards will typically last up to a year.

Tips for mouthguard care

If you take good care of your mouthguard, it will not only last longer, but also it will provide the protection you need.

  • Always store your mouthguard in its protective case when you aren’t using it. Make sure this case is well-ventilated.
  • After each use, use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your mouthguard.
  • If you think your mouthguard isn’t fitting right, see your dentist for help. Don’t try to adjust it yourself.
  • Never leave your mouthguard in the sun or use really hot water to clean your mouthguard, as this might melt it or bend it out of shape.
  • If your mouthguard is worn or doesn’t fit properly it should be replaced. They should be replaced every new season.
  • When you go in for your dental appointment, take your mouthguard with you so your dentist can check how it fits and to make sure it is in good condition.

Braces and other appliances

If you wear a removable dental appliance such as a retainer, you should remove it before playing any contact sport. If you have braces or another fixed appliance such as fixed bridge work, it is especially important that you wear a mouthguard when playing sports. A mouth guard will protect your appliance from being damaged, and it will protect your gums and cheeks from wires or loose brackets if your braces break.

Typically, mouthguards only cover the upper teeth. However, if you have braces on your bottom teeth it might be recommended that you wear a mouthguard on the bottom, too. If you have questions about keeping teeth safe during sports, give Alpers Dental a call! You can make an appointment at (09) 524-5056.