Like all athletes, you want to do everything you can be prepared and keep yourself in excellent shape. Remember, your oral health needs just as much attention.
In fact, as an athlete, you face particular circumstances that should be considered—Check out these three tips from the American Dental Association:
#1 Bring the right equipment.
Oftentimes athletes can find themselves on the road and adhering to rigorous daily or weekly schedules. Wherever your schedule takes you, make sure you come prepared with your tooth brush, tooth paste, and floss.
Be sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes, as well as floss once a day. Keep in mind that your schedule might require you to eat meals or snacks at the gym or at a nearby restaurant, so having your oral care gear accessible in these moments is key.
#2 Speaking of equipment… use a mouth guard.
While there are several sports leagues that require athletes to use mouth guards, not all do. If your league does not require a mouth guard, wearing one is highly recommended.
A mouth guard protects your teeth, lips, tongue, face, and jaw from damage. Let’s face it—sports often become rough. Athletes are at risk of injury; this goes for your mouth too. So, do what you can to protect yourself and prevent injury.
It might take a practice or two to get used to, but like anything, after regular use, wearing a mouth guard will become second nature to you.
#3 Do not fuel with sugary sports drinks.
Use water. The high sugar content in most sports drinks is not only unhealthy for your overall health, it is unhealthy for your teeth.
When you drink these sugary sports drinks, the sugar will transform into an acid that weakens the outer layer of your teeth. Overtime, this can increase your risk of cavities.
For more options on how to fuel and refuel your body, you might consult a nutritionist who can recommend meal, snack, and beverage options that will keep your mind, muscles, and mouth healthy.