When you are setting goals regarding your physical fitness, the last thing you might consider is how your teeth will be affected. But it’s smart to be cognizant of what you can do to protect them as you are fulfilling your exercise objectives. That way, you can maintain a great smile as you invest the effort into developing a fit body, as well. To keep exercise from harming your teeth, check out these tips from your dentist in Sparks that consider both your fitness and oral health.
Skip the Sports Drinks in Favor of Water
During and after a workout, you may sip on a sports drink to stay hydrated. Although they do contain electrolytes, they’re also extremely acidic and high in sugar. Unfortunately, those two factors can contribute to tooth decay, cavities, and enamel erosion.
Plus, sipping frequently means you’re constantly exposing your mouth to sugar, putting it at even further risk. To keep your smile safe, drink water instead. It’s truly one of the best drinks for your mouth and body.
Invest in Protective Gear
Do you partake in high-speed or high-impact activities like biking, skating, football, hockey, or soccer? You must wear protective gear for your head and mouth. One blow to the face or jaw could easily result in broken, cracked, or chipped teeth, fractured roots, and cut lips.
A helmet helps protect not only your head but your mouth from impact as well. On the other hand, a mouthguard simply forms a protective layer over your teeth during contact sports. You can purchase one from a sporting goods store or custom-order one from your dentist.
Breathe Through Your Nose
After exercising, do you find it easier to take in oxygen by mouth-breathing? You should avoid doing this as much as possible. It can cause your mouth to dry out and produce less saliva, which can be bad news for your teeth. You’re at higher risk for plaque and tartar buildup. Keep your smile safe by breathing through your nose!
Make an Effort Not to Clench Your Jaw
Some people may naturally clench their jaws during physical activity. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. When this happens, it can contribute to jaw misalignment and airway constriction. To prevent these problems, try and be more aware of your jaw placement during physical activity.
Be Careful If You Eat Nutrition Bars
Nutrition bars might be advertised as healthy snacks, but they’re just as harmful as sugary sports drinks. Even though they contain ingredients like dates, nuts, raisins, and other fruits, there’s still plenty of added sugar. Also, their sticky texture makes the food stay on your teeth longer, leaving your mouth more vulnerable to decay. If you decide to indulge in a nutrition bar, make sure you brush and floss afterward to eliminate harmful substances.
Before you begin your workout, take a moment to consider how your oral health could be impacted based on what you’ll be doing. If you are mindful of the tips in this blog post, you can develop the body you’ve always wanted while maintaining the smile your oral hygiene regimen and your dentist in Sparks helped you achieve.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Thomas earned his dental doctorate from the University of the Pacific before serving in the U.S. Army Dental Corps. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Thomas thinks it’s great when you make your fitness and oral health priorities. He will be ready to support your efforts during your biannual checkup and cleaning which you can schedule on his website or by calling (775) 626-3535.