Dentist Dr. Thomas Long has seen firsthand what can happen when “the puck stops here.” In addition to seeing everyday athletes in his private practice, Dr. Long (a former college hockey player himself) is the team dentist for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.
No matter what sport or skill level, Dr. Long says athletes need to take care of their teeth both on and off the field. “Most athletes are careful about what they eat and their workout routine. Part of that routine should include taking care of your mouth and teeth every single day,” he says. "It would be a shame to miss practice or a game because you are in the dentist's office receiving treatment or recovering from a dental surgical procedure.”
Here, Dr. Long shares his playbook for a healthy mouth.
- Make a Mouthguard Part of Your Uniform
- Sideline Sugary Sports Drinks
- Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat
To read the entire article, including more detailed information on the three steps listed in Dr. Long's playbook for a health mouth, please visit MouthHealthy.org.