With summertime approaching, many of us are focusing more on physical fitness. Although exercising is excellent for your health, it can damage your oral health if not addressed properly.
“According to dental professionals, endurance athletes are at greater risk for dental problems than non-athletes, courtesy of their fitness regimen. Why would that be so?” Mercola.com
There are two main contributing factors to the negative impact on how working out affects your oral health:
Sports & Energy Drinks
Energy drinks may contain electrolytes to refuel your body, but they also contain acids that can be harmful to your teeth. If an athlete is drinking sports drinks before, during and after workouts, these acids will weaken the enamel. This leaves the tooth more susceptible to decay.
Open Mouth Breathing
People tend to breath heavily with an open mouth during an intense workout. This can have a drying effect on your mouth. Salivary production is decrease creating an environment for bacteria to grow and colonize. For these reason, open mouth breathing can leave your teeth at an even higher risk for dental issue among athletes.
A Few Fixes
- Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water to replenish your body. Our body needs a water supply to produce saliva. Saliva acts as a natural cleansing of harmful bacteria from the teeth. While working out, your body produces less saliva. This allows bacteria to build up that can lead to tooth decay. Further more, the saliva that is produced during a workout is more acidic which also can erode enamel. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
- Eat a Nutritious Diet – Proper nutrition is just as important in maintaining overall oral health as routine exercise. Meats, cheese, nuts and milk are all tooth-healthy foods. Adding crunchy vegetables to your diet will help fortify your teeth against damage. Vegetables are also very hydrating foods especially in their raw form. Choosing healthier snacks, such as carrots and celery, can actually aid in keeping your teeth clear from debris and bacteria.
- Proper Dental Hygiene – Stay on top of your daily dental routine. Brush twice a day and floss once a day to keep your smile healthy.
At Westchase Dental, we encourage and promote optimum overall health and wellness along with your dental health. Don’t forget to schedule your next dental checkup. It is an important part of your overall health. Give us a call at (813) 475 – 4528.