How Oral Health Affects Athletes’ Performance
Athletes spend a lot of time and energy on their training regimens. Often times they have strict diets and exercise routines that help them get fit and stay focused on their goals. Their intense energy needs can translate into high-carbohydrate diets, while energy drinks may fill in the nutritional gaps and help them get through even the hardest workouts. Even though carbohydrates and energy drinks may help them get their bodies into peak condition, they may not be nearly as good for their teeth. This kind of lifestyle can leave them at risk of several long-term dental and general health issues.
If you are an athlete or even just a weekend warrior, you have several options for reducing the risk of dental problems. Whenever it is possible, skip the energy drinks. These drinks promise easy refueling for long workouts, but they tend to be full of acid and sugar, which contribute to enamel erosion and decay. They also tend to be full of natural or artificial colors that are commonly known to stain teeth. While stains may not be associated with dental problems, they can affect the look of your smile and age your appearance.
You may not be able to skip the high-carbohydrate diet, but you can choose healthy complex carbs. Starchy foods and simple carbs are more likely to stick to your teeth and feed oral bacteria. After eating a diet rich in carbs, brush your teeth thoroughly using a high-fluoride toothpaste and then floss.
For the best safety during your workout or any impact sport, wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard can protect your teeth from injury and reduce the risk of a chipped, cracked, fractured or avulsed tooth. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next dental exam.
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