A survey conducted by Medifast found that 93% of American adults have health and wellness goals and 84% of them are actively working towards them. Fulfilling fitness goals increases a person’s ability to concentrate, improves mental health, and contributes to overall happiness. As your body becomes healthier, it’s important to also be aware of protecting your teeth. Oral health is often a forgotten piece of physical health. Read these 5 tips to keep your teeth in tip-top shape as you pursue your fitness journey!
#1 Be Aware of Clenching Your Jaw
During exercise, our jaws often become clenched as we exert effort. In turn, this affects our teeth. Jaw clenching puts extra pressure on the enamel and will wear it down over time. Continual stress on jaw joints can trigger bruxism (nightly teeth grinding). Clenching our jaws also releases the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to bite misalignment. As you play sports or do other physical activities, be sure to check in with your jaw occasionally to make sure it’s relaxed.
#2 Breathe Through Your Nose
When we breathe heavily during exercise, we tend to breathe through our mouth to get that much-needed oxygen. Breathing through our mouth causes it to dry and produce less saliva. Saliva is necessary to keep a healthy oral pH balance and bad bacteria at bay. Be sure to take deeper breaths through your nose and drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated.
#3 Skip or Dilute Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are always being touted as the “go-to” when exercising. You see them all the time at the store and in commercials. But sports drinks tend to be high in sugar and acid, which can contribute to tooth decay and erosion. Frequent sipping exposes your teeth to further risk. You can skip the sports drink and drink coconut water instead to replace electrolytes. Or you can dilute the sports drink to minimize the sugar and acid and drink the majority of it after your workout.
#4 Be Mindful of Nutrition Bars
While nutrition bars may be packed with healthy ingredients like dates, raisins, nuts, and granola, they can be harmful to teeth. These hard and sticky foods can stick to teeth longer and make them harder to wash away with water, which can lead to decay. Be mindful after you eat a nutrition bar to refuel after a workout; brush and floss soon after eating one or at least rinse with water.
#5 Protect Those Pearly Whites
It has been estimated that 5 million teeth are lost annually due to sports-related injuries. You want strong muscles and lungs, but not at the expense of losing a tooth! Protective gear should be worn during high-speed and high-impact sports like bike riding, skating, and hockey. This can prevent chipping, fracturing, or breaking a tooth.
Now you are fully prepared to continue your fitness journey and fulfill all your health goals…and your teeth will be just as strong and healthy!
About the Practice
Buda Dental Professionals provide are eager to keep your smile healthy and happy during your fitness journey through the expertise of their three amazing dentists. They provide a full range of services, including preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency care. With a 5-star rating on Google, their priority is ensuring your oral health remains in top condition! To schedule an appointment, contact them at their website or by phone at 512-877-5726.