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Playing sports can make you more vulnerable to damaging your mouth and teeth. Approximately 80% of dental injuries are related to damage to the tongue, lips, cheeks and teeth. About 40% of dental injuries in adults happen when playing sports. Besides being quite painful, these injuries can also be a hassle to fix. Here are some easy general tips to follow to help prevent injury like these while playing sports.

The best way to protect teeth during sports is by wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard is easy to insert and is often custom fit to your mouth to be worn over your teeth. Mouth guards are easy to take in and out, and most people forget they are there during the game. Mouth guards protect your cheeks if you have braces as well. To ensure the highest protection possible, make sure the mouth guard fits correctly so it will not slide around and potentially cause injury during contact.

Dentists recommend also wearing a helmet or a face cage during contact sports. This protects against trauma to your head and face. Helmets might not always protect your mouth, but can make it more difficult to injure your teeth. The face mask and helmet should custom fit you and your sport. Face cages are very important during sports where the game ball might come straight for your mouth, like baseball or hockey.

Regular care check ups will help keep teeth and gums healthy. You should see the dentist every six months for a regular cleaning and examination. This keeps gums and teeth healthy and allows the dentist to detect any problems. Cavities and gum disease over time can cause your teeth to lose strength. Your dentist can also fit you with a custom mouth guard during a regular check up.

Keeping your teeth strong means also staying away from popular sports drinks even when playing sports. The high sugar content can erode your teeth over time making them more susceptible to cavities, which can lead to decay and injury. Some say to brush your teeth immediately if you do have a sports drink, but this will only spread the acid over your entire mouth encouraging the erosion of your teeth and gums.