The month of April is National Facial Protection Month, which is why various dental associations are reminding athletes and recreational sports players about the importance of facial protection such as mouthguards to protect their teeth.
Mouthguards can help shield the face from a blow and lessen the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the face, jaw, lips or tongue. Athletes are 60% more liable to suffer damages to the teeth if they are not wearing a mouth guard. Dental associations urge athletes, coaches, caregivers and patients to be proactive about the use of mouthguards whenever necessary especially for children who ages from 7 to 8 years old since they are most susceptible to sport-related injuries.
Collision and contact sports such as soccer and boxing have a higher risk of suffering from mouth-related injuries than any other sports. However, any athlete or any person may still experience a dental injury in non-contact sports and recreational activities as well such as skating and gymnastics.
When using a mouth guard, make sure that the one you are using is custom-made for your mouth by your dentists to ensure optimal fit and protection. However, if you can’t afford to get a personalized mouth guard, a stock version will still do the job. These are available at various sporting good stores.
Accordingly, apart from wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth from injury or trauma, it also helps take necessary precaution as well. You need to avoid biting hard candies or ice to help protect your teeth from injury while eating.
Take note that any trauma to the mouth the result to bleeding, lacerations to the gums, and fracture or dislodge teeth are considered as a dental emergency and requires immediate medical attention. It is important to see a dentist since if this is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.
Having a healthy and a balanced diet that features certain nutrients and minerals can be helpful in maintaining healthy and beautiful smile that everyone needs. Here are some nutritional diets can help you on your way:
With a diet that features a sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D, you will have the necessary nutrients to build strong teeth and healthy gums. Basically, 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods can provide young people adequate amount of calcium that they need every day. Calcium can also come from other food sources aside from dairies such as broccoli, calcium-fortified orange juice, calcium-processed tofu and more.
By making sure that you have sufficient fluoride intake, you will be able to reduce the chances of having dental decay. Fluoride can strengthen the enamel and reduces the ability of the bacteria to produce acid that wastes away the enamel. It can replace the lacking mineral and reinforces the teeth. There are certain areas that have low natural fluoride content of the water or are not fluoridated, then dentists often recommend fluoride supplements, fluoride toothpaste, or fluoride treatments. All these will be able to reinforce the teeth and give it the strength that they need to fight against tooth decay.
But it is important to be careful with fluoride since too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis. This is can appear as minor white lines that run across the teeth or perhaps a milky appearance of the teeth with brown staining. You can avoid this by making sure that you have only sufficient volume of fluoride. For a child below 2 years old, use no more than a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. For a child older than 2 years old, use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
Limit Damaging Sugars
Basically, almost all sugars promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth that can produce decay-causing acids. Such sugars are refined white sugar honey, maple syrup, sodas, sweetened juice drinks, dried fruit leathers and candies and molasses. It doesn’t mean that you have to completely avoid them but you have to protect your teeth against them or do necessary steps to get rid of them such as swishing your teeth after consuming these damaging sugars.