Here are several seasonal activities that could lead to dental injuries and ways to keep your smile safe.
Swimming - Frequent swimmers may be at risk for developing yellowish-brown or dark brown stains on their teeth. Those who swim more than six hours a week continually expose their teeth to chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives, which gives the water a higher pH than saliva. As a result, salivary proteins break down quickly and form organic deposits on teeth. These hard, brown deposits, known as "swimmers' calculus," appear most frequently on the front teeth. Swimmers' calculus can normally be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
Diving - Scuba diving, can lead to jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems or "tooth squeeze" - pain in the center of the tooth. All of these symptom add up to what's called "diver's mouth syndrome" (also called barodontalgia), a condition caused by the air pressure change involved in scuba diving and by divers biting too hard on their scuba air regulators. Tooth squeeze is caused by the change in air pressure, particularly if a diver has a big cavity, a temporary filling, gum disease, periodontal abscess or incomplete root canal therapy. The best way to avoid these problems is to visit your dentist before scuba diving and make sure your dental health is tip-top. Ask your dentist's advise about fitting the mouthpiece of an air regulator.
Contact sports (soccer, softball, basketball, etc.) - According to the Academy of General Dentistry, soccer players are more likely than football players to sustain a dental-related injury. Soccer is a sport where mouth-guards and face masks are not mandatory, upping the odds for mouth and face injuries. Softball, basketball and pick-up games of touch football involve similar risks. In addition to causing injuries during contact, these sports also may be costly for children who have had extensive dental work, especially children who wear braces. When participating in such sports, a mouth-guard is your best ally. It is estimated that mouthguards prevent more than 200K injuries each year. Using a mouthguard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.