Few figure skaters understand the dangers that their sport poses to the health of their teeth. Many figure skaters practice and perform without mouth guards: this is a mistake. Figure skaters should at least practice with mouth guards to protect their teeth against damage caused by failed routines.
Impact Can Cause Chipped Teeth
It's hard to think of figure skating as an "impact sport," but imagine what would happen if you missed a jump and landed hard on the ground. Even if you don't fall on your head or face, the impact is likely to cause you to clench your teeth. This can wear down on enamel and even cause large chips in your teeth.
Thankfully, mouth guards can help protect your teeth and prevent chips. This is not only good for your dental health, but good for your figure skating career. Smiles are very important in figure skating for a variety of reasons.
Smiles Matter In Figure Skating
Figure skating is a sport that is almost as much about the presentation of the skater as it is their performance. Successful figure skaters are expected to smile during their performance and to give their judges a beautiful full-mouthed grin. Chipped teeth can impact the appearance of your smile and make them judge you more harshly. Even if the chips in your teeth aren't obviously apparent, you might feel self-conscious about them and avoid smiling when performing.
Chipped Tooth Treatment
Wearing a mouth guard during your practices (especially when trying new routines) should help you avoid chipped teeth. However, if you fall during a competition or if you already have chipped teeth, it is important to treat them as soon as possible by following this procedure:
- Take pain relievers to alleviate any severe pain
- Cover the jagged edge of the tooth with gum to keep it from cutting you
- Eat soft foods to avoid exasperating the chip
- Receive chipped tooth treatment, such as dental bonding or tooth replacement, if necessary
Thankfully, fully replacing your tooth isn't likely necessary with this procedure. A chipped tooth repair procedure should typically take one session of dental bonding to finish. You might have to skip a few practices until the bonding has fully taken hold.
To learn more about this problem, call your cosmetic dentist and talk to them about repair procedures and ways that you can avoid chipped teeth in the future. Their professional help can give you the guidance you need to keep a flawless smile and succeed as a figure skater.