Fitness is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, a recent study found that weight loss helps defend against gum disease. That’s good news for our patients who love sports and athletic training. While running, cycling, and other forms of exercise can improve your oral health, the foods you may consume while participating in these activities can potentially hurt your teeth.
Harmful bacteria that attach to food lodged between your teeth weaken tooth enamel and leave you at risk for developing cavities. Sugary foods and drinks are well-known culprits of tooth decay. Many of the energy bars and drinks on the market today are high in sugar. What you may not realize is that even the brands with less sugar and more nutritious ingredients could harm your teeth.
Health Bars and Beverages
While they may seem tame, the consistency of health bars contribute to tooth decay. The nuts, raisins, and other healthy ingredients in these snacks stick to your teeth, opening the door for the bacteria in your mouth to start breaking down the integrity of your enamel. While brushing after consuming foods like these will remove the food and plaque from your teeth and protect against cavities, you probably don’t carry a toothbrush with you while running or on your bike.
Sports and energy drinks are high in acid, which poses another threat to your oral health. The acid in these drinks weakens tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to the harmful bacteria feeding off that nut or raisin stuck to your back molar. Most of us prefer to consume a sports drink and energy bar before or during hard workouts, leaving the health of our teeth at a serious disadvantage.
While brushing your teeth after eating an energy bar is a good idea, brushing immediately after consuming a sports or energy drink will do the opposite. Because the acid in sports drinks weakens tooth enamel, brushing immediately after a drink could actually wear away your enamel. You should always wait at least an hour before brushing in this situation. Instead, rinse your mouth with water as soon as you finish your drink and energy bar. This will wash away acid and loosen the food from your teeth. You can easily kick back some H20 while working out, and it will greatly improve your chances for good oral health.
Schedule Your Next Appointment
At Wager Evans Dental, we are passionate about offering personalized dental care to children, teens, and adults from Spanish Springs, Dayton, Fernley, and the surrounding area. To consult with one of our Reno doctors or schedule your next appointment, please give us a call at (775) 800-4845 or visit us only at wagerevans.com.