Back To Blog

A Simple Tooth Care Guide for People who Play Sports

07 September 2016

Millions of teeth are lost each year through playing sports. A frightening thought isn't it? However, while you may think that only adults are at risk from losing teeth during sporting activities, children and young adults are also extremely vulnerable. So if you, or your child, is involved in physical activities, here's a simple tooth care guide for people who play sports.

Wear a Sports Guard

The easiest way to prevent damage to the teeth and mouth is by wearing a sports guard. Known by several different names, including mouth guards and mouth protectors, a sports guard is a simple appliance that's worn over your teeth to protect them from impact. They're an important piece of equipment for anyone who participates in sports that involve body contact, falls or flying equipment. So if you play sports such as football, rugby, hockey, mountain biking, judo, or even skateboarding, to name a few, you might want to consider getting a mouth guard. Mouth guards work by covering the top teeth to protect wearers from chipped and broken teeth, cuts to the lips and other damage to the mouth, plus they can even prevent concussion. An effective sports guard should cover all teeth and, depending on your bite, your gums too. Normally they are not worn on the bottom teeth, although if you wear a brace or a bridge, your dentist may recommend that you wear a protector on your lower teeth too. There are several different types of mouth guards to choose from but, bear in mind that, in addition to being tear-resistant and resilient, it should fit properly and be comfortable.

There are 3 different types of sports guards:

  1. Stock mouth guards - the most inexpensive type of mouth guard, stock mouth guards are ready to wear. Because of this, they're unlikely to fit well particularly if you have crooked teeth. What's more, they often feel bulky in the mouth and can make talking and breathing difficult.
  2. Boil and bite mouth guards - designed to be moulded to fit your teeth by boiling it in water, the boil and bite mouth guard generally offers a better fit than stock sports guards.
  3. Custom-made mouth guards - as the name suggests these are designed and made to fit your mouth, and so will offer the most comfort and protection out of the three different kinds available. You can even have them made in your team colours. However, as they are custom made, they're also the most expensive to buy.

Over time mouth guards wear down and become less effective, therefore you should ideally replace your sports guard at the beginning of each new season. This is particularly important for teenagers and young children as their teeth and mouths will grow and change shape. While this may seem expensive, mouth guards don't only protect the teeth and mouth, but they can prevent jaw injuries too, and any mouth guard is better than none at all.

What happens if my tooth gets knocked out?

Don't panic! As long as you can recover the tooth, there's a good chance that it can be successfully replanted. If possible, stick it back in the socket or, if that's not possible, dunk it in some milk or a mild saltwater solution.

Help! My teeth are turning brown from swimming

Many competitive swimmers find that their teeth become stained by brownish deposits. Known as swimmers calculus, this can be easily rectified by having your teeth cleaned professionally.

Prevent tooth decay by hydrating with water

We all know that playing sports is thirsty work, but resist the urge to quench your thirst with a sugary drink, as this is likely to increase your chances of developing tooth decay. Reach for the water instead. Your teeth will thank you for it.

Keeping your teeth safe and healthy during sport is all about taking a little extra care. Follow our tips and you'll be less likely to suffer problems with your teeth and mouth when you play sport.  

Recent Reviews

Rory O'Neill

“If like me you are terrified of going to the dentist, then 3Dental is the only show in town now. I needed implants and crowns and the value that I got from Dr. O'Connell was far more competitive than...”

Diane Murphy Donegan

“My 9 year old son recently had 2 tooth extractions on separate occasions with Paul. After how smooth the first one went I had absolutely no issues getting him to go in for the second. 3Dental is a...”

CK Donavan

“I had an emergency appointment in 3Dental Dublin a few weeks ago. I waited in my car and got a phone call when the dentist was ready, therefore I avoided the waiting area. All safety procedures were...”

Jo Moran

“I would highly recommend 3Dental to everyone! I had to go for an emergency extraction and so I was really nervous and anxious going in and they took amazing care of me!! the staff are brilliant! Very...”

Amy Cahill

“Well I couldn’t recommend 3Dental enough. I met Alison today for the first time and all I can say was she was my angel. Had a tooth extracted and was in awful pain and she made sure I wouldn’t feel a...”

Angela Conway

“Second to none care from 3Dental. Had an emergency and 3Dental looked after me exceptionally. Well, thank you very much 3Dental - one less thing to worry about at this very extraordinary time 🥰”

Antonia Condon

“Great response to a difficult situation!”

Dave Johnson

“It's great that you guys are available incase of an emergency like a toothache etc, you're doing a great service, keep well.”

Karen Mayne

“Thank you so much to Niall and all the staff for helping to get an emergency treatment done recently. It's a difficult time for everyone but your efforts were appreciated. Best of luck and hopefully...”

Christine Lynch

“Thank you all so much for your kindness and help looking after my elderly mother today. In the midst of all the chaos you were nothing but helpful reassuring and most of all kind. We will most...”

Lisa Collins

“Amazing service, took me straight away as an emergency in and out in 20 mins. Paul was brilliant. Reception staff were lovely and reassuring.”

Catherine Dowling

“I had to go to the surgery yesterday, at a time when everyone is nervous with the risks of COVID-19, I couldn’t commend Paul and the team enough for the measures they have in place to protect...”

Susan Quinn Cassidy

“Would highly recommend 3Dental particularly for nervous patients like me.. I went for an assessment a month ago & was provided with a reasonable quote. They fit me in this week for an emergency...”

Tony Moore

“Went for the free initial consultation and was advised to get two crowns which I got over two subsequent visits. Prices seem to be on a par with others I checked and the friendly service and...”

Christina Power

“Paul has been the most incredible dentist I've ever had, he's so meticulous and precise, it gives me full confidence he's the best person to get my crooked teeth, straight! (Nearly there) All the...”

Zara Jade

“Excellent service, very professional. Good value for money. Staff were very friendly and knowledgable. I would highly recommend this dental practice.”

Pat Cassidy

“Very efficient and painless experience with my implant! Magda, Mel, Christiane and Joaquin were all so kind, so helpful and very professional!”

Judith Ryan

“I’m a very nervous patient when it comes to my teeth. They’re extremely sensitive. Rosario in 3Dental Limerick was fantastic. She did an amazing job and had such a kind and understanding attitude. I...”

Yahya Albalawi

“My son got his tooth extracted in another practice (Smiles Dental Limerick). 3 days later he got an infection and he was in a real pain. He could not eat and he could not sleep well. Smiles Dental...”

Evie Doyle

“I had braces fitted by Paul at 3Dental and I am really happy with the result. It was hassle free and a brilliant experience. The staff were always very helpful and friendly throughout my time with...”

Ready for the Next Step? Book Your Free Consultation

Book A Consultation View Pricing Options