To be honest, there aren’t many sports that you can play that are super awesome for your teeth. That’s why nine times out of ten your dentist is going to recommend not playing contact sports in lieu of having perfect oral health. But the human condition is plagued by the need to compete, so our advice often falls upon deaf ears.
One thing we can say is that some sports are definitely more susceptible to dental tragedy than others. We’re going to break down some of these sports and why they’re so dangerous for your mouth and teeth.
For the most part, we are working our way from the bottom of the list to the top of the list. All of these sports are risky for your teeth, but we’ll save the worst for last and you might actually be surprised.
The first set of sports is thrill-seeking enthusiast, alternative sports. This would include skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, BMX, inline skating (for those who actually still do that — good for you!) and other events that might be featured on the X Games. The most obvious reason for these is that most of them have participants coming crashing down on asphalt or landing face first into a handrail. Park riding on the mountain and even sessions in the more urban areas have resulted in many a tooth lost.
The next group would be the heaviest of contact sports. Boxing, MMA, martial arts, and wrestling are all a little more likely to leave people with a damaged set of teeth, considering the fact that the activity is designed to create contact between the two participants. Many might think that these activities would be higher on the list, holding a riskier position, but the fact that mouthguards are generally mandatory at most of these sporting events, cuts down on the amount of injuries there could be.
Stick and Ball Sports
Stick ball sports are going to be our next category on the list, moving up in the rankings. This would include baseball, lacrosse, hockey, cricket, field hockey, and any other sporting event that involves the combination of a stick and ball. A hard ball moving at a high velocity spells disaster when coming into contact with your face and mouth.
Football is another risky sport, but not quite the most risky. That’s because mouth guards are strongly encouraged, but not avidly enforced, which is why some players get caught off… guard (get it?) and end up damaging their pearly whites, which is how they end up in the dentist’s chair.
The most dangerous sport for your teeth is actually basketball. That might be a surprise to some, but those who play are probably the least likely to be surprised, because they know how physical the game can get. Basketball is especially physical “inside the paint”, which means inside of the key. That’s where the big men in the game throw their weight and elbows around, perhaps not meaning to do damage, but doing so nonetheless.
You wouldn’t exactly think it but basketball courts can be a very testosterone-filled place where some dudes might be recreating their high school glory days, taking the game a little too seriously, to where it doesn’t even feel like a game anymore. During those times, if you find yourself being guarded by somebody like that, stick to the perimeter. If this person persists, then step out of the game and wait for the next one.
The bottom line is be nice to each other on the court, fellas. There’s no reason to get out of hand. Remember that you’re playing a game that will be over and done with in minutes. It only takes seconds to have significant damage done to your teeth. But you have to live with the teeth that you have for the rest of your life. Wear a mouthguard if you can. Stay away from overly aggressive-looking situations. Remember to be safe and have fun out there. You’ve got nothing to prove to anyone.
If you do find yourself in a dental emergency, whether you’re on the court, on the field, in the ring, or anywhere else in between, then contact Bedford Dental Group today. We’ll give you the compassionate care you need in situations of any urgency.