Winter Activities and Dental Safety

Winter Activities and Dental Safety

Wintertime in Maine can feel like the longest of the four seasons, but luckily there are a variety of sports and recreational activities for adults and kids to choose from to keep busy during the colder months. Whether you are competing on a winter sports team or getting outside for some fun and fresh air, it is important to take precautions to keep yourself safe. This includes wearing protective gear when necessary and knowing what to do in the case of a dental injury. If you have any questions about how we can help you protect your smile this winter, feel free to talk to your team at Falmouth Dental Arts, as we are your partners in dental health. In the meantime, read more about winter activities and dental safety below.

Protective Gear

In addition to wearing a helmet to protect your head, wearing a mouthguard is your first line of defense against dental injuries. We support the American Dental Association’s recommendation that mouthguards be worn when participating in the following list of winter sports and activities, even if they are not required: 

  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Ice Hockey
  • All Collision, Contact, and Combat Sports 
  • Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Ice Skating
  • Sledding
Types of Mouthguards

Make sure to choose a mouthguard that is approved by the ADA and designed for your specific sport or activity. There are a few different types of mouthguards you can choose from:

  • Stock Mouthguards – Stock mouthguards come pre-formed and ready-to-wear in various sizes. Stock mouthguards tend to be inexpensive but do not offer a custom fit. 
  • Boil and Bite Mouthguards – These mouthguards are softened in hot water before wearing and are placed in your mouth to create an impression of your teeth and bite before they harden. 
  • Mouthguards for Braces – It is important to choose a mouthguard that is designed specifically for those who wear braces.

Have questions? Talk to us about selecting the mouthguard that is best for you. We are here to help!                                                                                  

Caring for Your Mouthguard

Store your mouthguards in a case to keep them protected from bacteria, pets, and loss. Clean them regularly with toothpaste, mild soap, or baking soda. Rinse thoroughly and dry before storing them in their case. Replace them as soon as they get torn, thin from wear, or no longer fit well.

What to Do if You’re Injured

If a dental injury does occur, call our office right away at 207.781.5900 to schedule an appointment. Our team of compassionate dental professionals will help you with a treatment plan and coordinate with your other health care professionals as needed.  If it is outside of our regular business hours, when you call our office line you will be given the option to get in touch with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. In the event of a head injury or any other type of serious injury, please contact your physician as soon as possible or go to your nearest emergency room.


Protecting Kids’ Teeth During Sports

Parents know best: kids are bundles of energy often searching for ways to release it. One of the most common ways kids find to release their energy is during individual or group sports! And as we all know, with these activities, there comes a little bit of risk.

As part of Children’s Dental Health month, we’d like to celebrate children and their oral health by offering some strategies and precautions to keep in mind for your kids as they begin participating in sports and other activities. All you need to begin is a little bit of education!

Some Sports are Riskier than Others

Luckily, there are precautions you can take to minimize risks. Some sports with higher risk of mouth or head injury are:

  • Ball & stick games (i.e. lacrosse, baseball, hockey)
  • Skateboarding
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Martial Arts, Wrestling, and Boxing

No surprises there! So how can you reduce risk of injury for your kids?

Use a mouthguard or a helmet whenever possible!

“To protect your smile, always wear your mouthguard while playing sports!” — Dr. Brunacini

Mouthguards are the easiest, most convenient and affordable way to prevent oral injuries. While there is a chance kids could remove protective items while horsing around, there is great value in teaching them to take precaution. We suggest introducing the idea of wearing protective gear to kids at an early age to make mouthguards & helmets a fun and everyday element of their favorite activities.

In sports like cycling, skiing or skating, there is less chance of colliding with other children, but rather greater chance to collide with hard surfaces like the ground, parked cars, and other inanimate objects so there is still opportunity for injury. In these cases, it’s important for kids to wear a helmet, preferably with a face guard, as a preventative measure. Helmets with face guards are especially key in contact sports like hockey and football.

In some cases, maybe your child can wear both! After all, the cost of replacing a tooth is much greater than the cost of a mouthguard or helmet.

Other Ways to Help Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Teaching children the rules of sports and the risks associated with them can go a long way. Oftentimes, sports injuries can occur because people (of any age) disregard the rules, just want to win, or just plain get too rough.

Also, strengthening enamel early on is important for the rest of your child’s life. Consider enamel-strengthening toothpaste to help contribute to stronger teeth. While it may not directly prevent an injury, stronger enamel can’t hurt your chances!


If you have any questions about getting a mouthguard for your child, we want to know! We’d love to help. And while we hope it doesn’t happen, in the event that your child needs emergency dental care, we are here for you! Call in to Falmouth Dental Arts after hours and we provide phone numbers to call Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos directly to arrange care.