There are a lot of sports that come with their own specific hazards, and being aware of what they are helps you to stay safe and protect yourself against injury. One of the areas of the body most at risk in a range of sports is the mouth.
Whether it's from a ball, a bat, other players, or just the hard ground, teeth can get damaged or knocked out completely when an accident happens. But as long as you take steps to minimise the risk, you should be able to enjoy playing your favourite sports without worrying about having a dental emergency. Here's how to take part in sports safely.
Assess the risk
First of all, you should figure out as many of the potential dental risks as possible in your particular sport. If there's a chance of a ball flying towards you, especially if it's hard and solid as opposed to a softer inflated one, it could quite easily hit you in the mouth. Be aware of any other equipment that might cause harm, like racquets and bats, and consider the chances of impact between players.
There are less common injuries because of sporting equipment, but they do happen. People have been injured by getting teeth caught in nets, and if you're an athlete whose discipline involves any kind of obstacle, you could trip and land face-first on it.
Wear the right equipment
The more dangerous sports have standard safety equipment like helmets and face guards, and it's there for a reason. It's never worth skipping out on wearing it because the chance of injury to the face or head is high. Use good quality items and make sure they provide a good fit, otherwise, their protection is not as effective as it should be.
Invest in a good mouth guard
A mouth guard covers your teeth and part of the gums, protecting them extremely well if there's any sort of impact. They're an absolute must in boxing, but it's a good idea for anyone participating in sports to wear them, even if they have a helmet as well.
It's worth spending a bit of money to get a good, custom-fitted mouth guard, as it will do a far better job and give you greater peace of mind.
Many sports injuries occur when people aren't following proper play procedures or when they break the rules. Try to avoid doing any sport with other people who aren't willing to use their brains, as it's not worth putting yourself at risk. And don't play with old, unsafe equipment that's an obvious health risk.