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ADA Dental Health Week 2015 - Sin 6: Performance Envy

ADA Dental Health Week 2015 - Sin 6: Performance Envy

ADA presents ‘The Seven Sporting Sins

Sin 6: Performance Envy

Dehydration can be a common issue if you go to the gym, play a team sport, run, or do anything else that is active. Not only does dehydration stop you from performing at your peak it will reduce your salivary flow which means your teeth are less protected from acid attacks. Make sure you don’t suffer from performance envy, perform your best by staying well hydrated before, during and after sport. The ADA recommends tap water which contains fluoride that helps protect your teeth in the long term.

Tap water has the added benefit of being good for your teeth, unlike sports drinks that bathe your teeth in harmful sugar or acids. Water is free from a tap and cheaper than sports drinks from a bottle.

Tips to know if you’re dehydrated:

  • Is my mouth dry?
  • Do I have an acidic taste in my mouth?
  • Have I been sweating a lot?

Extract from ADA's original article: "Sin 6: Performance Envy"

 

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ADA Dental Health Week 2015 - Sin 5: Sports Gluttony

ADA Dental Health Week 2015 - Sin 5: Sports Gluttony

ADA presents ‘The Seven Sporting Sins

Sin 5: Sports Gluttony

Gluttony is another word you don’t normally associate with the super-fit and sporty! But certain habits such as snacking and grazing put our teeth at risk! Tooth decay is caused by how frequently we snack and how long you are exposed to food at any one time. Every time you eat, your teeth are exposed to the sugars in food, this is called an ‘acid attack’. The bacteria in your mouth (plaque) use these sugars to make acid and if teeth are exposed to this acid long enough holes develop -this is known as tooth decay.

It is important to beware of hidden sugars in so called ‘Health Foods’! These include culprits like muesli bars and sports bars where seemingly healthy ingredients are bound together with sugar! Frequency of snacking and sipping on foods and drinks that contain sugar like dried fruit, sports gels and energy bars will increase your risk of developing tooth decay.

Protect your teeth by:

  • Snacking on foods that have high nutritional value will help with performance and recovery before and after sport.
  • Snacking on foods that are light and low in sugar between meals.
  • Eating fresh produce. Packaged foods are generally higher in sugar than their fresh alternatives.
  • Reading the label – if sugar is listed in the top three ingredients it’s usually not a good sign.
  • Searching online is a great way to find healthy snack ideas

Extract from ADA's original article: "Sin 5: Sports Gluttony"

 

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ADA Dental Health Week 2015 - Sin 4: Supplementing Vanity

ADA Dental Health Week 2015 - Sin 4: Supplementing Vanity

ADA presents ‘The Seven Sporting Sins

Sin 4: Supplementing Vanity

Vanity can drive some people to use sport supplements like pre- and intra-work out drinks with little or no question of what is really in them, if they are deemed to achieve a lean and muscular physique.

The current wave of pre-workout and intra-workout drinks on the market make all types of claims but many of these products have not both been rigorously tested! Intra-workout supplements are often overlooked as a potential cause of tooth erosion, however the addition of acidic ingredients as well as the fact that people sip frequently on these over a training session makes them a potentially concerning product for your teeth. If you really are conscious of your health you need to be aware that these products contain acidic preservatives which will cause irreversible damage to your teeth if used frequently.

Don’t panic, not all gym supplements are bad for your teeth. The real danger is how frequently some of them are consumed, especially if they contain sugar or acids.

Your number one tip when buying sport supplements:

  • Products that contain ingredients like citric acid (food numbers 330 or 331) or ascorbic acid (food number 300) are acidic! Preservatives that end in the letters ‘ate’ like sorbate can also be assumed to be acidic!

Extract from ADA's original article: "Sin 4: Supplementing Vanity"

 

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“Doctor, I think I’ve caught tooth decay!”

“Doctor, I think I’ve caught tooth decay!”

“Doctor, I think I’ve caught tooth decay!”

Recently, it occurred to me how poorly documented it is that dental caries, can be passed from one person to another. Yes, so what you are thinking is true. Kissing a partner (or child) with tooth decay can result in the transmission of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes tooth decay, from one person to another.

So regardless of how good your oral hygiene is, if your partner has decay in their mouth, then you have a significantly higher chance of getting tooth decay. Clinically, we often see both couples in a relationship with tooth decay.

If saving your partner from tooth decay is not adequate motivation to get to the dentist, then saving your children from a life of misery at the dentist may be. Studies have found that the bacteria in our children’s mouths are a direct descendent from their parents mouths.

If we as parents have decay in our teeth, we harbor more of the decay causing bacteria, and we are more likely to spread the disease of dental caries to our children.

The best method to reduce the transmission of these bacteria to our loved ones is to maintain optimal oral hygiene through regular dental appointments to ensure that we have do not have active tooth decay. Otherwise, minimize the sharing of saliva by not sharing utensils, don’t share toothbrushes, don’t clean your child’s dummy with saliva and no kissing on the lips.

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Sugary Drinks

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks include any sweetened beverage:

  • Non-diet soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Fruit juices/drinks
  • Cordial
  • Sweetened tea
  • Rice drinks
  • Sugar cane and bean beverages

Sugary drinks contain not only high levels of sugar, but may also have high levels of acid. The combination of sugar and acid can contribute significantly to tooth decay and erosion of tooth structure. Marketers will have us believe that the diet option may be better for your teeth; however, these drinks are often just as acidic as the non-diet option. Sports drinks and energy drinks are not only sugary and acidic, but they also often contain caffeine, which has a drying effect in the mouth, and ultimately affects the acid buffering capacity of saliva. Furthermore, they are often consumed when salivary flow is at its lowest during physical activity.

Obviously, plain boring old water is best, however having these sugary drinks at meal times and with a straw is beneficial to reduce the adverse effects on your teeth.

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