3 Ways to Protect Oral Health During Your Fitness Journey

August 25, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Buck @ 2:53 pm
A smiling man pursuing fitness and oral health

You usually wouldn’t think of dental care when trying to get fit. After all, strong teeth aren’t the same thing as strong muscles. Still, certain aspects of exercise can hurt your pearly whites if you’re not careful. It’d thus be a good idea to take some precautions for future workouts. That said, you may not know how to protect your smile while living a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, your Dublin dentist is on the case. Read on to learn three ways to simultaneously pursue physical fitness and oral health.

Wear Mouth Protection!

Sports-related injuries don’t just involve torn ACLs and broken bones. They can also lead to tooth chips or even knocked-out teeth. It’s thus essential that you have the right tools to prevent them.

One such item is a helmet. While better known for keeping your head safe, this item can also stop you from breaking or losing a tooth. Just another reason to wear one when riding your bike, skating, or playing football or hockey.

On the other hand, a mouthguard would be even better. Wearing one lets you form a protective layer over teeth during contact sports. Remember that a dentist-customized mouthguard is better than a store-bought type, as the former perfectly molds to teeth.

Cut Down on Sugary Foods & Drinks

While sports drinks can replenish electrolytes and energy, they don’t help your smile. Most are acidic and high in sugar, factors that cause tooth decay and cavities. Plus, constant sipping during exercise increases your teeth’s exposure to such things. In the future, try replacing your sports drink with water; at the very least, brush your teeth 30 minutes after drinking one.

Ironically, you can say the same about good-for-you nutrition bars. While this food is often packed with healthy ingredients, it also has a lot of sugar that erodes tooth enamel. Next time you have one, be sure to brush or floss afterward. 

Avoid Teeth Grinding & Mouth Breathing

Some kinds of physical activity might cause you to clench your jaw. Unfortunately, the latter action results in jaw misalignment, airway constriction, and other issues. Therefore, try to start your exercises by repositioning your jaw into a relaxed position. That way, you’ll protect your teeth and produce more oxygen for your muscles.

Strenuous exercise could also tempt you toward mouth-breathing. However, doing this reduces your body’s saliva. That’s bad news for your smile, as the mouth liquid serves a protective function for teeth.   As such, opt for nasal breathing when possible.

By following tips like those above, you can improve fitness and oral health at the same time. So, consider your mouth the next time you jog or pump some iron.

About the Author

Dr. Eric Buck is a dentist based in Dublin, OH, having earned his DDS from Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry. His specialties are preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, as well as dental emergencies. When he’s not fixing teeth, though, you can find him traveling, golfing, and cheering on his beloved Buckeyes. Dr. Buck currently practices at Distinctive Smiles and is reachable at his website or by phone at (614)-792-1800.