If you’ve ever stepped foot in a gym on Jan. 2, you’ve seen firsthand just how many people resolve to get in shape every New Year. And if you’ve decided to do just that in 2018, you might be surprised to learn that there are ways your dental health and your overall health can work together to help you reach your goals.
Read on for tips from 1st In Smiles about caring for your smile while you’re caring for the rest of your body! And then, don’t forget to prioritize your dental health with excellent preventative care! In our Plano, TX office, you’ll receive personalized care in an anxiety-free setting.
We’ll even give you some tips for caring for your smile at home so you can truly take ownership of your oral health. And our compassionate team of dental professionals will cheer you on toward your goals!
Call 1st In Smiles at 972-380-8105 to schedule an appointment.
Tip #1: Increase Your Water Intake.
Pretty much everyone has heard of this as a weight loss tactic. Drinking more water makes you feel full, which discourages mindless snacking and second servings. But did you know that increasing your water intake is also good for your oral health?
Water, like saliva, plays an integral role in keeping your teeth clean. Both water and saliva remove food particles that might otherwise get stuck in and on your teeth and attract bacteria. That bacteria is what’s responsible for all the things your dentists warn you about: plaque buildup, cavities, and gingivitis.
And increasing your water intake is especially important if you’ve committed to exercising more frequently and more strenuously. One study of endurance athletes found that challenging workouts decreased the athletes’ saliva production. The same athletes were also more likely than non-athletes to experience greater rates of tooth decay.
Upping your water intake can make up for the decrease in saliva production you experience when you’re working out.
Tip #2: Wear a Mouthguard.
Contact sports like boxing are a great way to lose weight. You’re on your feet, you’re dodging punches, and you’re sweating up a storm. But activities like these also increase the likelihood you’ll experience a dental emergency. That includes knocked out or broken teeth, damaged dental restorations, and more.
But there’s no need to give up your favorite activities because of that. Just make sure that your gear includes a properly fitting mouthguard. And there’s no better way to ensure that your mouthguard fits well than to get it custom-made for you by the professionals at 1st In Smiles.
Professionally made mouthguards protect your teeth better than the ones you’ll find in sporting goods stores. So, think of your mouthguard as an insurance policy. You pay a little bit now to help avoid costly curative and reparative procedures down the road.
Tip #3: Avoid Sports Drinks and Protein Bars.
If you’re going to go hard at the gym, you’re going to need to refuel. But sports drinks and protein bars might not necessarily be the best way to do it. Both can be loaded with sugar, which can derail your diet goals and wreak havoc on your teeth at the same time.
Plaque-causing bacteria love sugar. Sugar sticks to your teeth, and when the bacteria consumes those sugary particles, they produce a weak acid. That weak acid eats away at your enamel, which is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects your teeth from decay. The weak acid can also irritate your gums, which can lead to gum disease.
And as if the sugar isn’t bad enough, there’s another reason to avoid protein bars — or at least, consume them carefully and in moderation. Most protein bars are chewy and dense, which can damage dental restorations like dental crowns and dental bridges. If you’ve had extensive dental work done, protein bars are best avoided.
Tip #4: Craving a Snack? Drink Water or Brush Your Teeth Instead.
For many people, cutting down on snacks is the most difficult part of losing weight. If you’re snacking too much, maybe it’s time to put some safeguards in place. Whenever you feel the urge to snack, drink a glass of water or brush your teeth before you go rummaging through the fridge.
Craving sugar is commonly thought to be a sign of dehydration. You might drink a glass of water and find that that cookie no longer seems as appealing.
Similarly, if you’re prone to snacking late at night, brush your teeth earlier in the evening. The minty freshness of the toothpaste might make you think twice about needing that potato chip. Just don’t overdo it. It’s recommended that you brush twice a day. Brushing too frequently or too aggressively can aggravate your gums.
Let’s Work Together Toward Improved Health!
No matter what your goals are this coming year, your health is something to celebrate and prioritize. At 1st In Smiles, we want to help! Let’s work together toward improved oral health and overall wellness this year and for many years to come.