IS YOUR CHILD A RUNNER? Or maybe you are! Well, as you start this cross-country season, here’s an important question to ask either yourself or your child… “Does your training include specific consideration for your oral health?” Do those two things sound unrelated? There’re not. Read on!
With Each Extra Training Hour, Decay Risk Goes Up
The rest of your body may be in tip-top shape. But a recent study published in the Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports found two very specific oral health problem areas for athletes.
1. Dry Mouth Effects
Think about the way your mouth feels when you’re racing or on a training run. You’re likely breathing heavily through your mouth. Your mouth becomes dry as a desert. In addition, because there’s higher susceptibility to dehydration (at some level) you don’t recover from dry mouth as quickly as you would otherwise. Dry mouth creates a danger zone for your teeth.
2. Sport-Related Nutrition Effects
When you’re racing or on training runs, what are you putting into your body, and how are those things affecting your teeth? If you’re like most runners, you’re often consuming:
- acidic sports drinks, some of which have lots of sugar
- energy gels or gummies that stick to your dry teeth
- energy bars that are often loaded with sugar and starch
These kinds of substances inside a dry mouth, coupled with the likelihood that they will sit on your teeth for long periods of time, creates an unfriendly environment for your healthy smile.
This DOES NOT Mean You Should Pull Your Child Out Of Track & Field!
Of course not! Just be aware! And, here are some helpful suggestions for you and your child…
Be Cautious About What You’re Eating & Drinking
- Drink lots of water! Water, not energy drinks are best.
- If you DO consume energy drinks, rotate them with water. Rinse, rinse, rinse.
- Drink water BEFORE you get dehydrated, not after.
- Brush before and after workouts.
- If you’re consuming gels or other sticky substances, mix in some carrot or celery sticks (scrubber foods).
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Is Your Kid A Runner? Let Us Know!
We always like to be informed about lifestyle changes, so that we can monitor oral health more effectively. If you have any questions about how to keep your child’s teeth healthy and beautiful, let us know!