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A few years ago, a dental newsletter published what seemed like an unusual story. A boy snagged his teeth on a basketball net while doing a slam-dunk.

A freakish accident? Not quite. After the article appeared, nearly 40 dentists wrote in with their own stories. They all told of would-be Michael Jordans who sacrificed their front teeth in pursuit of the perfect dunk.

Sports injuries are common in children and adults. In fact, dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.

About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.

Below you’ll find more information about how you can protect your teeth while you play sports of any kind. If you would like to have your teeth checked, contact Coventry Dental Care for an appointment with a Stratford dentist.


Even if a tooth has been knocked out, it often can be saved if you get to a dentist quickly enough. Minor chips and cracks can be repaired. Dentists use tooth-colored materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. However, even “minor” injuries can cause serious and costly damage. If you enjoy sports or other high-risk activities, you need to take measures to protect yourself. The use of mouth guards among football players, for example, is believed to prevent about 200,000 mouth injuries a year!

Depending on the sport, two types of protection are available:

  • Helmets — A helmet is a must for activities that involve speed or impact. These include football, hockey, skating and bike riding. The helmet should fit correctly. It should also be appropriate for the sport you are playing.
  • Mouthguards — Wearing a mouthguard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouthguard from your dentist is recommended. This type of mouthguard usually fits better than a ready-made one (found in sporting-goods stores). That means it may protect your teeth better.

If a custom-fit mouthguard isn’t an option, try a “boil-and-bite” mouthguard. You can buy one in a sporting-goods store. Start by placing the mouth guard in boiling water. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot), bite down on the mouth guard and mold the softened plastic around your teeth. If the mouth guard doesn’t fit comfortably the first time, you can reheat it and do it again.

Would you like to have your teeth checked by a Stratford dentist? Call our office or fill out the form below for an appointment.