Updated: 1/24/2020 Summer is on the way! (Can I get a “hallelujah!”?) And with summer comes days at the pool, weeks of vacation or afternoons on the field, kicking off…

Preparing Your Child for Summer Sports Season

Updated: 1/24/2020

Summer is on the way! (Can I get a “hallelujah!”?) And with summer comes days at the pool, weeks of vacation or afternoons on the field, kicking off the sports season.  In general, summer sports season is a great time either playing or rooting for your favorites teams. An important thing that gets missed or neglected during this exciting season is – you guessed it! – dental care.

1. Precautions

The different dental issues that present themselves during sports season depend a lot on what kind of sport one is playing. A person who plays sports can end up with anything from a chipped tooth to decaying teeth. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent any unwanted dental conditions, such as:

  • Mouth guards. Wearing a mouthguard is one of the top ways to prevent any dental injuries like chipped teeth, nerve damage or tooth loss. Especially if you play a sport that involves physical contact, having something that will protect your teeth from complete destruction is important. Mouth guards also help prevent teeth grinding if you’re an especially competitive player. There are 3 main types of guards:
    • Stock Mouth Protector. Dentists have claimed that this is the least effective mouth guard. However, if you are on a low budget, something is better than nothing. You can find these at virtually every store with a sports section. These guards are pre-formed and bulky and are difficult to adjust.
    • Boil and Bite Mouth Guards. Most sporting goods stores carry these. The mouth guards are made out of thermoplastic, meaning it softens when it’s heated. Boil water and place the guard in for a short amount of time. When you take it out, the plastic should be soft and you can bite down on the guard to create the mold around your teeth. You can always re-try this method if it doesn’t work the first time.
    • Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards. For a custom-fitted mouth guard, take a trip to the dentist. There, you can get a piece made for your mouth specifically. This option is the most successful of all mouth guards, protection-wise and comfort-wise, yet it’s the more expensive choice.
  • Face Protection. For some sports, it’s inevitable to get hit, kicked or shoved every now and then. (No guts, no glory, right?) For this reason, it’s important to wear a helmet or face-gear when you play – especially if the sport calls for it. Don’t pull that cool-guy “I don’t need that stuff” routine. You’ll probably end up with a beat-up face and a medical bill.
  • Dentist Visits. If you’re an active swimmer, you are exposing your teeth to chemically-treated water much more than any non-swimmer. Because of this, you can develop severely stained teeth. If you have this, we recommend visiting your dentist often and asking him for advice.

2. Sports Snacks and Drinks

What is a baseball game without peanuts or crackerjacks? One of the great highlights of the sports season is, of course, the snacks! Whether you’re watching a game or playing the game, it’s great to have some refreshments. The downside to this is that a lot of people pick snacks and drinks that are corrosive to their teeth.

  • Bad Snacks
    • Pretzels
    • Chips
    • Hard or Chewy Candy
    • Cookies
    • Raisins
  • Good Snacks
    • Fruit
      • Apples
      • Grapes
      • Oranges
      • Bananas
      • Watermelon
      • Cantaloupe
    • Veggies
      • Celery
      • Carrots
      • Cucumbers
    • Nuts
    • Meats (lunch meat)
    • Cheeses
  • Bad Drinks
    • High-sugar Quantity (Limit consumption of these). Believe it or not, most sports drinks out there fall under this category. If you are unsure, just go with a safe bet: water.
      • Sodas (If dark colored, rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum afterward to prevent staining)
      • Juice
      • Lemonade
      • Gatorade
    • Coffee
  • Good Drinks
    • Water – drink plenty of this and remember to stay hydrated!
    • Milk (Although, this is not recommended after playing sports, or directly before)
    • Unsweet Tea (Rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum afterward to prevent staining)

3. Treatment

Even if you take all of the precautions in the world, accidents can still happen. If you’re in a game and your tooth is chipped, broken or knocked out, visit a dentist or emergency room immediately.

 Photo by Michael Newman / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo by Michael Newman / CC BY-NC-ND











As you get pumped up for the upcoming sports season, keep our tips and advice in mind to prevent as many dental problems as possible. And don’t forget to have a great time this summer during summer sports season!

What are things you do to keep your teeth healthy during sports season?

Katie is 1Dental’s copywriter and social media marketer. She aims to promote dental health through new blog posts heavily researched and sourced by topic and social media updates and outreach. Katie has completed her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. You’ll find her posting regularly on 1Dental’s social pages: Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

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