Contact sports: what you need to know
As soon as you start to think seriously about your sport, especially if it is a contact sport, you need to also start thinking about how you are going to look after yourself properly. There’s a reason why so many people who play those sorts of sports always struggle to look after themselves – because those sports are not created in order to keep people whole! A contact sport by definition is one that is going to involve a lot of punishment, and if you are committed to winning then you are going to put yourself on the line in order to get what you want – what your team needs. There are going to be injuries, no matter what you try to do, and the important question is, how can you minimize the damage that is potentially going to happen to your teeth?
For a start, you should always ensure that you are wearing a mouth guard: and if you do not have one, for goodness sake, buy one! You can get gum guards or mouth guards that are purposefully created just for you, customised for your teeth and gums, but you can also buy cheaper ones that are just as good. The amount of protection that they will give your teeth and gums cannot be over-estimated, and you’ll be glad that you’ve got it on you! Many contact sports now make wearing mouth guards a requirement, and if your sport doesn’t then that should not stop you.
Secondly, you should ensure that you let your team mates about any dental issues that you currently have. If you have a dental bridge then your team mates and coaches need to know that. Any injury that you sustain will need to be taken seriously, especially if you have taken a hit to the mouth, and if there is any metal in your mouth then that is a second layer of health problems that you could experience if you run into someone – or someone runs into you! A dental bridge very rarely breaks, of course. They are created to last for decades, and so there is little that can really harm them, but it is important for everyone that you play with to be aware of so that they can be conscious of it.
A dental bridge, of course, is not the only piece of dental work that you could have in your mouth. If you have any braces, especially if they are made of metal, then you should consider whether or not playing a contact sport on a regular basis is the right decision for you! As you get older, your teeth will also get weaker and more brittle, and this means that it is much more likely that your teeth could get chipped or cracked if you experience a particularly shocking hit to the front. If this does happen, then the most important thing is to find the chip, if that is what has happened. If you are able to get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible, then it is possible that they are able to fix it back onto your tooth. With a good dentist on your side, then you may find that no one ever notices – not even you!
At the end of the day, we’re all human. We all fall apart a little bit, but if you’re a fan of playing contact sports then you need to protect your dental bridge as much as possible, and it’s taking little steps to do that which will help you out in the long run.