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Winter is here! All that snow and ice in the mountains means it’s time to break out the skis and skates! But all that winter fun can also come with a host of risks, as well. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe while playing winter sports to help prevent injuries from ruining the fun.
What are the Risks?
Winter sports, just like any other sport with a risk of contact or falling, can put you at risk for dental trauma and injuries. Statistics have shown that dental injuries are the most common type of facial injuries. Trauma to the face or mouth can cause serious injuries such as chipped, broken or knocked out teeth, or a broken jaw. Whether you’re playing to compete or playing just for fun, staying safe while playing winter sports involves both understanding the risks and how to protect yourself.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Some sports require protective gear like helmets, face shields, and mouth guards, but many do not, despite the risk of injury. It’s for this reason that sports safety guidelines are constantly being updated. Whether you’re required to or not, wearing protective gear is always important to staying safe while playing winter sports.
Talk with your dentist about the sports you plan to play this winter and ask for their recommendations on what protective gear you should wear to protect your teeth and jaw. They may suggest a mouthguard to help protect your mouth in case of impact. Whether you play for competition or fun, injuries can happen at any time, so it’s important to do what you can to prevent them.
What if Somebody Gets Hurt?
Even if you wear the correct protective gear, injuries can still happen, although it’s less likely for them to be serious. Also, not everyone wears the correct protective gear, so it’s possible that a friend or teammate could get injured while playing, as well. It’s important to know what to do in emergency situations so that you can act fast.
If you or someone else is injured, first check for signs of head injury or excessive bleeding. If there are symptoms of either, call 911 or head to your nearest hospital emergency room right away. If you notice signs of dental trauma such as chipped or broken teeth or teeth that have been knocked loose, or discomfort in the mouth or jaw, call a dentist immediately. In the case of dental injuries, it’s important to get them treated as soon as possible for the best chance of survival for the affected tooth.
Staying safe while playing winter sports is important because nobody wants to suffer an injury that could put them on the sidelines. So talk to your dentist and make sure to always wear protective gear. Whether you’re playing for competition or fun, it’ll help keep you in the game and having fun.
Call our Jacksonville Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.