The Importance Of A Tooth Friendly Diet When Exercising
‘Get fit’ new year resolutions can come at a cost if you don’t watch what you eat and drink.
Some of our Burton and Ashby patients will no doubt, have made a New Year’s resolution to get fitter than they currently are, possibly aiming to lose weight as well. There is much to be admired about aiming to do this, with obesity now a serious health issue in this country and across the Western world in general. There are many ways to do it but getting more exercise is an obvious one and the main reason why gym memberships will almost certainly receive a boost in the early weeks of the year.
Whether you sweat it out at a gym, get on your bike or simply aim to walk more and take the car less, you should still be aware of what you are eating and drinking when you do this.
Not just weight problems
Whilst exercising may well make you feel hungry due to the energy exerted, it is important to make sure that you eat the right things to ‘re-fuel’. Both from a weight perspective and a dental one, it is important to avoid eating the wrong foods, usually those high in sugar, when we need an energy boost. At Alexandra Dental Care, we have seen cases where people have resorted to drinking energy drinks for long periods of time and have suffered severe enamel damage to their teeth. Energy drinks are heavily promoted, and footballers, for example, can often be seen taking these during a game.
Most of these drinks rely on some form of sugar to provide the energy boost. In fact, some brands contain the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar, more than twice the recommended daily intake for an adult. Bear in mind that this is unlikely to be the only sugar consumed that day and it isn’t hard to see how we could be eating four or five times as much sugar as we should.
With energy drinks, we also tend to sip them over a period of time. This continual ‘drip drip’ of sugar into our mouths will not only start to soften the enamel, but continue to attack it whilst it is less well protected. If we do this on a regular basis, it won’t be long before our teeth start to feel sensitive and become more prone to tooth decay as well.
Our daily lives
It should be said that it isn’t just those who exercise who use these drinks. They can commonly be seen being drunk by people just going about their daily lives. Whilst it is generally a good thing that people are now better hydrated, these drinks are definitely not the way to do it. Water is by far the best way to keep hydrated and also has the added bonus of helping to flush away some of the bacteria from our mouths.
If you are intending to take up more exercise, there are many good books written by sports nutritionists which will help you develop a healthy and tooth friendly diet. There is little gained by improving your figure with exercise if you are going to have an unhealthy mouth with decaying teeth.
Eroded tooth enamel is a serious dental issue. Not only can tooth sensitivity become an issue, but the lack of protection means that tooth decay is more likely as well. The best option is, of course, to avoid things like sports drinks that can cause the problem but where it does exist already, there are options to restore the teeth. One of the most widely used treatments is dental veneers. These fine porcelain tooth shaped layers are attached to the affected teeth, usually replacing a very fine layer of natural tooth. This helps to protect the teeth from further damage providing that they are otherwise looked after well. They will also help to minimise any sensitivity, making eating and drinking hot and cold foodstuffs more comfortable.
We wish all of our Ashby and Burton patients the best of luck in their fitness aims but please do take care to consider your teeth too. Once your teeth have become damaged, there is no turning back and dental treatment will almost certainly be needed.
If you have sensitive teeth or any other concerns about your oral health, please arrange to see one of our dentists by calling Alexandra Dental Care on 01283 216347.Google+