Have you been enjoying the Olympics in Sochi over the last few days? While you might assume that Olympic athletes are the bastion of health, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found the dental health of those training for the 2012 Olympics in London had deficient oral health. Amongst boxers, track and field stars, and hockey players who volunteered for the research, 55% had untreated tooth decay. Over 75% presented with early periodontal disease. Urbandale family dentist, Dr. Jessica Lawson finds this to be alarming news. However, hockey players might finally be on the right track towards protecting their teeth during games.
For years, hockey players have been known to have a cavalier attitude regarding their teeth. If you’ve ever watched a hockey game, you can concur that it is a rough sport. They hit hard, and injuries are common. In fact, hockey players are so used to losing teeth, it’s not entirely unusual to see one spitting their teeth out on the ice and continue with the game. The term ”spittin’ Chiclets” is known in professional hockey to describe this phenomenon. While a “the game must go on” mentality may give hockey players their tough-guy edge, there’s nothing to smile about when the game is over and teeth are missing. There are a number of players who won’t bother repairing their smile until their career is over, as tooth loss is likely to recur.
Dental Progress in the New Generation of Players
Hockey dentistry and the mind-set of players have taken a turn for the better in looking at prevention and preservation of all of those beautiful smiles. Many amateur hockey leagues are now requiring all members of the team to sport mouthguards and/or face masks to protect teeth and gums from injury. Younger players in the National Hockey League (NHL) have had this mentality instilled in them so they are continuing the habit. Perhaps their efforts will rub off on their elders and all of hockey players will take this precautionary measure in the future. In the meantime, see how many mouthguards you can count at the Olympics this year.
Visit your Urbandale Family Dentist
Lawson Family Dentistry provides comprehensive dentistry services to patients of all ages, including customized mouthguards. For a consultation with your 50323 dentist office call us at (515) 278-4366. We proudly serve patients from Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes, Waukee, and the surrounding communities.