At our East Honolulu, HI practice, we provide comprehensive family dentistry. Dr. Patel takes pride in serving patients of all ages, from children to seniors.
We also provide dental care for athletes, so our patients can protect their teeth from trauma while on the court or field. Here, we outline some tips to help athletes maintain healthy smiles for years to come.
Consider a Custom Athletic Mouth Guard
Research suggests that 13-39 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related. That is why it is important to protect your teeth while you are participating in practice or games.
The American Dental Association encourages consumers to educate themselves about the dangers of sports-related dental trauma and take appropriate measures. The best way to do this is to invest in a custom athletic mouth guard.
This oral appliance fits over the upper dental arch and protects the teeth, gums, lips, tongue, and jaw from injury.
Even if you do not want to invest in a custom guard just yet, we encourage you to at least purchase a store-bought appliance. Something is better than nothing; and if you are involved in a sports accident, you will be glad you wore your mouth guard.
Skip the Sugary Sports Drinks
Sports drinks can be beneficial for replacing electrolytes and rehydration. However, the sugar content in most of these drinks is high.
If these are consumed in excess, acids will form on the teeth. As a result, patients will be much more susceptible to cavities and dental erosion.
We recommend replacing sugary sports drinks with water. If you need to replenish your electrolytes, drinking a sports drink is fine. Just be sure to drink it quickly, as sipping on the drink all day can increase the risk for decay. As an added precaution, rinse the mouth out with water when you are finished.
Attend All Routine Dental Visits
Regular dental cleanings and examinations are important for anyone. They are even more important for athletes. If the teeth are decayed, unhealthy, or compromised, they are much more likely to fracture in the event of a sports-related injury. Routine visits allow your dentist to address any existing problems early on, before they worsen.
In addition to regular dental visits, it is important to develop healthy oral hygiene habits at home. Patients should brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled brush. They should also clean between the teeth once daily with floss, interproximal brushes, or dental picks.
Ask your hygienist for specific recommendations. He or she can recommend techniques and special dental tools to keep your teeth healthy between visits.
What to Do if You Sustain an Injury
Despite best efforts, sometimes accidents happen. Should you sustain a sport-related injury, call your dentist right away for further instructions. Typically, the sooner you see your doctor, the better. If a tooth has been partially or fully avulsed (knocked out), it may be successfully replanted with timely treatment.
Contact Hawaii Pacific Dental Group
If you are an athlete, it is important to take care of your teeth and gums. To learn more, schedule a visit at Hawaii Pacific Dental Group. Call our practice at (808) 955-0008 or contact us online anytime.