You’ve set some ambitious fitness goals for yourself. You have the determination to reach them, and you won’t let anything stand in your way. However, have you ever thought about how getting into shape could affect your mouth? In this post, you’ll learn about the potential risks to your smile as well as ways to protect it while you’re working toward your fitness goals.
What You Wear
About 5 million teeth are lost every year because of sports-related injuries. If you participate in certain sports or activities that involve contact, you need to wear the proper equipment, including a helmet and mouthguard. In fact, you should wear a mouthguard if there is a risk at all of a blow to the face. With the appropriate protection, you can avoid getting a tooth knocked out or even chipped!
How You Breathe
If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you know how important breathing is to your mental and physical health. However, even if you haven’t, breathing plays a pivotal role in developing stamina and endurance as well as weight lifting strength.
However, if you breathe exclusively through your mouth, it can become dry, which spells trouble for your oral health. A dry, warm environment is the perfect setting for harmful bacteria in your mouth, which means your risk of tooth decay and gum disease significantly rise when you have a dry mouth.
The simplest solution is to be conscious about your breathing and make sure you have plenty of water after your workouts.
What You Eat
If you want to get in shape, you need to put clean, healthy fuel into your body. On the other hand, if you eat sugary, carb-heavy foods, you’re not likely to make much progress in your fitness journey. Likewise, these foods can also harm your smile, because they encourage bacterial growth in your mouth. By sticking with a nutrient-rich diet, you can help your body function optimally and keep your smile on track as well.
What You Drink
Believe it or not, the beverages you consume can be just as important to your fitness and oral health as the food you eat. While many sports drinks contain electrolytes and some vitamins, they also contain quite a bit of sugar. It can be easy to go overboard, putting your teeth and gums at risk.
By far, the best possible drink you can have is water. Not only does it not have sugar, but it also neutralizes any acids in the mouth that could lead to tooth decay. Water also helps deliver nutrients to various muscle groups throughout the body, helping you build strength and heal after workouts.
The steps you take to achieve your fitness goals don’t have to negatively impact your teeth and gums. If you take these precautions and stay on top of your oral health, you can get your body and your smile into the shape you want!
About the Author
Dr. Martin Barco III has served the Bloomington area for many years now. After earning his dental degree at the University of North Carolina, he completed a General Practice Residency at Indiana University. In addition to the American Dental Association, he is a member of the Indiana Dental Association, Southern Indiana Dental Association, and Spear Dental Study Club in Bloomington. If you would like wellness advice, he can provide guidance during an appointment, which you can schedule by calling 812-332-8290 or visiting our Contact Us page.