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For Athletes: 3 Things You MUST Do to Compete at a Higher Level This Summer

Summertime will always bring out St. Peters' best local athletes to compete in outdoor sports such as 5 and 10k runs or bike races.  During training and on race day, it’s important to remember your smile and keep it healthy.  Studies show that keeping a healthy mouth can actually help increase an athlete’s performance.  Here are three ways to keep your smile safe and up your game this summer.

Get away from the Goo!

Many competitors use energy gel or jelly beans to give them an extra shot of energy during training or endurance races.  While these types of products do not contain table sugar, they will contain some form of sugar such as fructose.  The type of bacteria that live in the mouth and cause cavities will feed on this sugar.  The result is softened enamel and dental decay.  The byproducts from the bacterial ingestion of the gels can cause an increased risk of gum disease.  When these types of products are eaten, the acidity or pH in the mouth changes.  The lower the pH or more acidic the mouth is, the greater the threat of cavities. 

A good way to combat this harmful pH is to rinse your mouth out with a sip of water after using the gels or jelly beans.  Make sure that none of the product is stuck to your teeth; try to get it off with your fingernail if possible.  This can cause demineralization or softening of the teeth in the area in which the product is stuck in. 

Have good habits while you rest

A good athlete knows the importance rest is during a training regimen.  This is the perfect opportunity to practice good oral homecare.  Just remember your BFF:  Brushing, Flossing, and Fluoride.  Using an electric toothbrush for two minutes twice a day will help keep the teeth clean and healthy.  Flossing at least once a day to remove food from in between the teeth and out from underneath the gum line will prevent gum disease and cavities in between the teeth.  A good fluoride mouth rise is another important product that should be added to your daily routine, especially if you are using energy gels.  The fluoride in the rinse will help strengthen the softer demineralized areas of the teeth and prevent tooth decay.

See your dentist!

Make time to see us at Cardinal Dental for routine cleanings and checkups.  Dr. Cynthia Ulrich and her Cardinal Dental hygienists are ready to make your smile healthy and ready for competition.  By identifying potential problems early, we can keep you running faster and biking harder for this competition season.