Give your teeth a sporting chance

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.

Which sports are can cause dental injuries? Obviously, football has a lot of physical contact, which is why helmets and mouthguards are specifically designed to minimize injuries. But 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 mouthguards during practices and games to minimize their risk of injury.

Staying hydrated is also essential. Make sure your kids keep a water bottle handy to stay refreshed during practice and games. A dry mouth can increase your child's chance of cavities. Drinking water helps maintain a healthy pH in the mouth. It also washes away food debris and harmful bacteria.

And don't forget about a nutritious diet. Kids who eat balanced meals, with lots of protein and complex carbohydrates, will feel better throughout the day, perform better in sports and be at lower risk of cavities than kids who fuel up on crackers and cookies. Check out the salmon and veggies recipe in this issue for a fun dish kids will love.

If your children participate in sports, it's as easy as 1-2-3: Make sure they wear mouthguards, hydrate with water and fuel up with healthy foods.

On topic with Dr. Dill

Meet Joseph Dill, DDS, Delta Dental’s Vice President of Dental Science and Network Strategy. 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.