As an athlete, you know how important it is to train hard and take care of yourself to perform your absolute best. Although there is a lot to keep in mind when you’re dedicating yourself to a sport, what many athletes seem to forget about is the health of their teeth. After all, you want to be able to flash a winning smile when you’re hoisting the winning trophy around after all your hard work, right?
When it comes to oral health, it’s important to keep some key tips in mind while you’re training and playing your sport. Here’s how athletes can keep their teeth healthy.
Protecting Your Smile
When you’re an athlete, it’s a known fact that you run the risk of more injuries compared to non-athletes. Depending on your sport, you may need to take extra precautions, especially in contact sports like football, soccer and basketball. This is where a mouthguard comes in to save the day and your smile! Wearing a proper mouthguard is highly recommended at all times to help protect your teeth, and if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, your braces or aligners as well. Be sure to get a mouthguard that comfortably fits over your braces to ensure you’re protecting yourself properly. If you have Invisalign, your aligners can be removed to accommodate a mouthguard more easily, just remember you have to wear your aligners at least 22 hours a day to be the most effective.
Athletes train hard, which means the food used to fuel the body of an athlete needs to be quality food, not junk. In opting for healthy foods, you not only improve your performance levels, you can also keep your teeth healthy as well. It’s best to stick to a balanced diet for best results, which includes healthy foods like:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein
- Healthy fats
Eating a variety of healthy foods is essential, especially if you’re in a sport where weight matters, such as wrestling. When you opt for healthy foods, you not only keep your body running in tip-top shape, your teeth stay healthy too.
Avoiding Unhealthy Sports Supplements
Energy chews and other sugary supplements can impact your health and the health of your teeth in a negative way, so it’s best to avoid these when you can. This also includes sports drinks. Due to the high level of acidity in many sports drinks, they have the tendency to damage the enamel on the teeth, as well as cause tooth sensitivity. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you’re using the Invisalign system, as sports drinks can damage the aligners as well.
In just taking an extra moment to pack your mouthguard (and remembering to actually wear it) and including some whole foods in your meal plan, you’ll ensure that your teeth stay healthy. If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign and wish to remove your aligners during practice or at game time, be sure to have a designated place to store them, so they don’t get lost.
You probably already know how amazing it is to be an athlete, and as you can see, with a little help you’ll be able to keep your award-winning smile for years to come. So, get out there, have fun and do your best!
The team at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists is ready to help you with your winning smile! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started with us.