On topic with Dr. Dill: Give your teeth a sporting chance

First and foremost, exercise is one of the best things you can do to keep your mouth and body healthy. But young athletes may have a higher risk of chipping teeth or experiencing other mouth injuries, depending on the sport. Obviously, football has a lot of physical contact, which is why helmets and mouth guards are specifically designed to minimize injuries. Even non-contact sports like basketball, soccer and baseball can cause inadvertent falls or elbows to the mouth. It’s important for all young athletes to wear mouth guards during practices and games to minimize their risk of injury.

Hydration sources are another cause for concern. Sports drinks are frequent major sponsors of professional and college sports, so we often see our favorite stars drinking them. And it’s not unusual for young athletes to mimic professionals. Unfortunately, sports drinks can be filled with sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates. Athletic activities typically don’t require participants to replace minerals, electrolytes and carbohydrates. In fact, the high carbohydrate content in these sports drinks can cause obesity if consumed in large quantities. The sugars in many of them can also lead to tooth decay. Drinking plain water during and after exercise is far healthier and won’t lead to obesity.

If your children participate in sports, make sure they wear mouth guards, hydrate with water and fuel up with healthy foods (see our salmon and vegetable foil packets recipe).

Meet Delta Dental’s Vice President of Dental Science and Network Strategy, Joseph Dill, DDS. With over 30 years of experience in the dental field, including eight in private practice and 16 in dental insurance, Dr. Dill provides expert insights and helpful advice to keep you smiling bright.