For many people, the new year means so much more than swapping out the calendar. It’s a time for setting goals, resetting after feasting over the holidays, and prioritizing your happiness and health. It’s no surprise that two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are to shed a few extra pounds and get in shape.
If you’ve resolved to exercise more and eat more mindfully in 2018, it’s important to keep in mind that your oral health both reflects and influences your overall wellness! So, we’ve put together several tips and tricks that can help you reach your fitness goals while simultaneously keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.
And if you’re looking for a compassionate team of dental professionals in to cheer you on, look no further than Alabama Family Dental. We’re committed to providing comfortable, high-quality care in Mobile, AL! We can help you reach your health goals with excellent preventative dentistry, which includes routine checkups and even nutritional counseling!
Call us at (251) 241-0890 to schedule an appointment.
Do: Drink Plenty Of Water.
You’ve probably heard that increasing your water intake can help curb your appetite, especially if you frequently crave sugary snacks. But did you know it’s also good for your smile?
Water imitates saliva, which is one of your body’s first defenses against tooth decay. When you eat, food debris gets stuck in the grooves and crevices of your teeth. Left alone, these food particles would attract all sorts of nasty bacteria, which would feed on the particles and give off a weak acid. This weak acid is what causes tooth decay and gum disease.
But saliva helps remove food debris that gets stuck on your teeth and gums after a snack or a meal. Water does the same thing.
Upping your water intake is especially important if you’re exercising more strenuously. Studies have shown that when you engage in physical activity, particularly endurance workouts like running, your saliva production decreases. This means there’s less saliva to help fight off lingering food particles, making you more susceptible to tooth decay. But you can make up for this decrease in saliva production by simply drinking more water.
Don’t: Let Sugary Sports Drinks Sabotage Your Diet Goals — Or Your Smile.
Some people really don’t like the taste of water, so their workout drink of choice is a sports drink. But if you’re trying to lose weight — and if you’re trying to keep your smile healthy — it might not be such a great choice.
That’s because sugar is a driver of tooth decay, and sugary beverages are sort of a sugary assault on your teeth. Plus, cutting down on sugar is often one of the most effective ways to reach your goals if you’re trying to lose weight.
Water is a better option. But if you really must have that sports drink, sipping water alongside your sugary beverage will help quench your thirst and help prevent cavities.
Do: Wear A Mouthguard.
If you’re looking for a sweat-inducing, calorie-burning workout, boxing is a great way to go. But if you’re going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, remember to protect your smile with an athletic mouthguard!
The same goes for any contact sport, as well as activities you might not think of as requiring a mouthguard, such as mountain biking. When you’re active, the last thing on your mind — and the last thing you want to think about — is a dental emergency. A properly fitting mouthguard can help prevent injuries to your teeth and gum tissue.
And the best way to ensure your teeth are protected is to opt for a professionally made mouthguard from Alabama Family Dental. We’ll create one to the exact specifications of your mouth, meaning it’ll provide protection that’s superior to the one-size-fits-all and even the boil-and-bite mouthguards you find at the sporting goods store.
Don’t: Reach For Those Potato Chips.
It’s midnight, and you’re craving something that’s crunchy and satisfying. You could reach for that bag of potato chips — or you could grab a carrot, celery, or apple instead.
Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and also have a high water content are great for the waistline. But they’re also good for your dental health! That’s because their high water content helps remove lingering food particles in your mouth, and their crispness helps encourage saliva production. It’s a win-win!
Do: Keep Up With Your Routine Dental Checkups!
Just as you might recommit to regular doctors appointments to reach your health goals, you should also re-prioritize routine visits to the dentist. When you come to Alabama Family Dental for your dental exams, we’ll assess the health of your mouth and work to detect the earliest signs of dental complications. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come!