For all of the countless advantages of modern technology, there are some unfortunate drawbacks. Sure, so many things about our daily lives have changed for the better thanks to technology, but some things haven’t. Our health and physical fitness are among them.
The fact is, we’re just not as physically active as we used to be. Many of our jobs now involve sitting in front of a computer screen rather than getting out there and rolling up our sleeves for more physically demanding work.
Consequently, we have to try harder to incorporate exercise into our daily routines for optimum health. But what does all that exercise do to your teeth and gums? That’s what today’s blog aims to answer.
Dr. Tripp and all of us at 7 O’Clock Dental want you to be as healthy as possible. That’s why we want to arm you with the right information about how exercise affects your oral health so you can make good decisions when it comes to physical fitness.
What Does Exercise Do To Your Teeth?
First, we want to make clear that exercise is a good thing, no doubt about that! But when you exercise, certain negative things can happen to your teeth unless you do what you can to avoid them.
Here are just a couple of ways exercise affects your teeth:
Replenishing Energy With Protein Bars & Sports Drinks – During and after a workout, many people reach for highly processed protein bars and sports drinks thinking they’re good sources of replenishment.
While they may give you a short burst of energy in the short term, they’re not good for your teeth. Refined carbs and sugars you find in these snacks and drinks are the favorite fuel for bad bacteria in your mouth. When the bacteria feeds on the sugar, it creates acids that lead to problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Losing Saliva As You Sweat – Obviously, your goal when working out is to get your heart pumping and to work up a sweat. The downside, though, is that you lose a lot of necessary fluid during that process.
Losing water throughout your body will take its toll on you, and that’s also true in your mouth. Saliva production slows way down when you become dehydrated, so that means your body doesn’t have the ability to naturally wash away food particles and debris or to protect your enamel from harmful acids. That’s what your saliva does for you, which is why dry mouth is a real oral health concern.
How Can You Avoid These Threats While Exercising?
To keep your teeth and gums protected during and after your workouts, try these simple tips!
Brush and Floss Every Day!
This is a given. Beginning and ending your day with a clean mouth is one of your best defenses against dental problems. Keeping your teeth as clean as possible is a great place to start.
Chew Sugarless Gum!
Rather than let dehydration from all the fluid you lose while working out halting your saliva production, chew on sugarless gum to keep those glands activated. This will give your teeth the protection they need from plaque acids that erode your enamel.
Hydrate With Water!
This is true whether you’re exercising or not. Water is so important to your body in general, you should be drinking plenty of it every single day. It’s even more necessary to get plenty of water before, during, and after a workout rather than reaching for one of those sugary sports drinks. Water will keep you nice and hydrated and your salivary glands working!
Schedule A Dental Checkup!
Naturally, one of the most important parts of your dental health routine is keeping up with regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Tripp at 7 O’Clock Dental. Our skilled professionals can spot problems early and treat them effectively so your smile stays as fit as your waistline!