Whether you visit a gym or hop on your bike, you should strive to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Use caution when creating your routine, however. Some workout habits can negatively impact your oral health.
Whether you focus on muscle development or improved cardio, long endurance sessions could put your teeth in danger. Working out for long periods reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva carries minerals that nourish and refresh your dental enamel, and neutralize acids in your mouth left by foods that you eat.
Brushing your teeth before exercise can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth during your workout. Drink plenty of water during and after your routine to stay hydrated and encourage the production of saliva. Chewing ADA-approved sugar-free gum before or after your routine can also increase saliva production.
Lifting weights requires concentration and puts strain on your body. Despite the benefit of strong muscles that will last late into your life, this workout could negatively impact your dental and jaw health. Many people unconsciously clench their jaw and grind their teeth during weight lifting. This bruxism wears hard on your teeth, leading to cracking and chipping. You also run the risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a painful condition affecting the jaw joint. If you develop TMJ, non-surgical treatment options such as an oral orthotic can help prevent bruxism and relieve your pain.
Many people like to use energy bars and sports drinks packed full of electrolytes to enhance their workout. These tasty supplements might improve your game, but they destroy your teeth. Both bars and drinks contain high levels of sugar, which your teeth are vulnerable to while your saliva production is low. Sports drinks also contain highly acidic ingredients that corrode your tooth enamel and increase your risk for tooth decay.
Snacking on Dried Fruits
Health-conscious individuals substitute energy bars with dried fruits, which give your body protein, potassium, and other nutrients that benefit your workout. Although your body will love these snacks, consuming them during exercise could be nearly as bad for your teeth as the bars they replace. Dried fruit contains high amounts of naturally occurring sugar, and sticks to your teeth as you chew.
Instead, get in the habit of snacking on water-filled veggies like cucumbers or celery during your workout. These veggies offer your body hydration and nutrients that will satisfy your hunger and improve your workout. You could also consider snacking on watermelon for similar benefits.
Protecting Your Teeth
If your workout routine has left you with one or more cavities, Orlando dentist, Dr. Michael L. Weinstock can help. We use tooth-colored fillings to repair cavities and protect you from infections caused by advanced decay. Unlike their metal counterparts, these durable fillings look natural so you can smile without shame.
For chipped and broken teeth, we offer porcelain veneers and dental crowns in order to protect your teeth and restore your smile to its former glory. These restorations are carefully color-matched with your other teeth, making them virtually invisible to the untrained eye.
If you live in the Orlando area and want to learn more about repairing your damaged teeth, please call (407) 834-6446 to set up an appointment at our Altamonte Springs office today.