Tip #1: Hydrate!
Have you ever gone out for a run without a bottle of water and experienced terrible dry mouth? Well, that feeling isn’t just uncomfortable — it can actually be detrimental to your dental health.
A 2012 study among endurance athletes revealed that those who trained intensely experienced decreased saliva production, regardless of whether they consumed water or sports drinks for the duration of their workout.
Researchers have been quick to point out that there’s no conclusive link between heavy exercise and oral health complications, but here’s what we do know: Saliva plays a key role when it comes to preventing tooth decay. You might not even think about it, but saliva helps wash away food debris that would otherwise linger on your teeth and attract plaque-causing bacteria.
Increasing your water intake before, during, and after workouts can help alleviate dry mouth. Plus, drinking more water is often recommended as a way to help you lose weight since it makes you feel full and can discourage snacking.
Tip #2: Beware Of Sugary Sports Drinks And Protein Bars.
When you’re lifting heavier or running longer distances, it’s tempting to load up on sports drinks, protein bars, or other sugary chews and gels to help you refuel. These things can be great for a quick boost of energy, but when consumed too frequently or without care, they can be a sugary assault on your teeth.
It’s best to enjoy sports drinks, gels, and chews in moderation. You can also prevent damage by consuming them alongside a glass of water. The water will help discourage sugary particles from sticking to your teeth.
Also, exercise caution while enjoying protein bars. They’re tasty and convenient when you’re on the go, but protein bars are often chewy and dense — meaning they can damage dental restorations if you’re not careful.
If you’ve had extensive dental work, consider switching up your post-workout snack. A banana and peanut butter or a glass of chocolate milk are both great alternatives if you’re looking to get a little extra sugar and some protein in you after working up a sweat.
Tip #3: Wear A Mouthguard.
If your exercise comes in the form of a contact sport, such as football, basketball or martial arts, consider wearing a mouthguard to prevent a dental emergency. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re on the field, on the court, or on the mat is a knocked out tooth or broken dental crown.
At Pickett Family Dental, we offer custom-made mouthguards that can protect your teeth better the ones you’ll find in sporting goods stores. Fit is key when it comes to protective mouthguards. In fact, wearing an ill-fitting mouthguard can cause more damage to your teeth than not wearing one at all.
If you’re interested in getting an athletic mouthguard created to your exact specifications, just give us a call at 817-431-5514. We’d be happy to answer any questions and help you schedule an appointment.
Tip #4: Snacking At Night? Adjust Your Evening Toothbrushing Habits.
Midnight snacking can undo all the hard work you did during the day. If you find yourself sneaking into the kitchen late at night, try adjusting your night-time brushing and flossing habits. Cleaning your teeth earlier in the evening might be enough to discourage snacking later on.
If you do have to snack, reach for foods that are good for your teeth as well as your waistline. Crunchy foods with a high water and fiber content — like carrots, celery, and apples — can actually increase saliva production and prevent cavities.
Tip # 5: Partner With The Caring Team At Pickett Family Dental.
Your journey toward better health and wellness doesn’t end once you meet your weight goals! Taking care of your body is something you’ll get to do for years to come. If you’ve resolved to prioritize your health this year and in the future, remember to schedule your routine checkups and cleanings. Call us at 817-431-5514 to schedule an appointment, or use our convenient online form.