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We all know that exercise is something that should be a part of our daily routine. Whether you are looking to drop a few pant sizes before swimsuit season, or if you are simply looking to get in better shape due to your doctor’s orders, it’s always a good idea to go for a run, lift some weights, or just stay active by playing your favorite sport. However, you may be surprised to find out that while all of that exercise may be great for most of your body, it might not be as good for your oral hygiene and the health of your teeth.
How could this be? Well, the truth is that exercise will make your body burn more calories and it will also often make you become dehydrated. For those that do not drink enough water on a regular basis, dehydration is a serious concern and it could greatly affect their teeth. Your mouth needs certain levels of fluid in order to promote saliva. Without saliva, you won’t be able to flush bacteria and other buildup that occurs in your mouth after eating a meal or sipping on your favorite drink.
With over 25 years of experience, here are some tips that Dr. Gary Moore has for those athletes out there that want to keep their teeth healthy during exercise.
Avoid Sports Drinks With Artificial Flavors and Sweeteners
Wait a second. Didn’t we just say that you’ll need to stay hydrated if you want to avoid having damage to your teeth and gums? Well, yes. But that doesn’t mean that you should rely on sports drinks as a way to rehydrate. The truth is, most of these sports drinks are loaded with artificial flavors, sweeteners and colors. In most cases, these drinks may seem to replenish you, but they are actually going to linger in your teeth and gums without generating saliva production in the mouth.
The more that these drinks linger without you brushing your teeth, the more likely it is that your teeth will start to stain. If you want to make sure that you are staying hydrated while exercising, it’s better that you opt for H20 as a way to stay hydrated. This will allow for you to keep up at your physical peak, but you’ll also be able to avoid the problems that may come with sports drinks.
Watch What You Eat
Nearly as important as the fluids that you put into your body, your diet is also important for your teeth while exercising. Some great examples of foods that you should be eating while exercising include salmon and vegetables, as both of them are full in vitamins and minerals that will keep your muscles and teeth strong. In addition, milk offers vitamin D and calcium, which is also important for building strong bones and teeth.
Avoid eating protein bars or other foods that claim to be great for you while on the go. The truth of the matter is that most of those processed foods will get stuck in your teeth and they won’t be doing your oral health any favors. Instead, keep your diet as clean as possible and your teeth will thank you.
Wear A Mouthguard
If you or your children exercise by taking part in a sport that involves physical contact, then it’s important that you have a mouthguard every time you compete. Just one accidental hit while on the playing field could result in you having a tooth knocked out or dislodged. This is something that will then last with you for years to come, and you’ll likely be regretting that you didn’t just wear a mouthguard to protect yourself.
In addition, mouthguards have been shown to protect from concussions as well. A mouthguard may not feel incredibly comfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it over time and it’ll certainly be worth it in the event you are hit in the face while exercising or taking part in your favorite sports.
We want to see you have the best oral health possible. However, we certainly don’t expect you to stop working out as a way to help protect your teeth. Instead, feel free to keep up with your physical exercise, just make sure that you consider the tips mentioned here to keep your teeth and gums safe. Also, don’t forget to schedule your routine dental appointments, as this will allow your dentist to make sure that your teeth and gums are in great condition throughout the year.