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Good habits that can be bad for your teeth

dental health windham nhIt might seem strange, but some of the activities that are part of your health routine could actually be unhealthy for your teeth. But by being aware and making some adjustments, you can make sure your good habits are good for your teeth, too. 

Working out

A recent research study looked at the oral health of endurance athletes and compared them with non-exercisers. The surprising results: the athletes were more likely to have tooth erosion (wearing away of tooth enamel). And the more time the athletes spent training, the higher their risk of cavities. How could that be? The researchers found that exercise reduces saliva, filled with minerals that nurture teeth and neutralize acids that cause wear and decay. In addition, those sugary energy gels and acidic sports drinks also contribute to tooth decay.

Working out better

Since saliva is reduced during training sessions, you should brush before you exercise, and rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything sugary or acidic. Chewing sugar-free gum during workouts can also boost your saliva, but can be a choking hazard.

Weight lifting

The tendency to clench your teeth as you strain to lift weights may actually improve your performance. Recent research has shown that it increases blood flow to the parts of the brain associated with motor control. However, all that pressure can also damage your teeth.

Weight lift better

Wear a mouth guard when your lift, just as you should in team sports. Your dentist can make you a custom one so that it fits well without being too noticeable. 

Taking your medicine

A surprising number of medications, such as those for allergies, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, also cause dry mouth. Since your teeth need saliva to protect themselves against the acids that cause decay, dry mouth could be considered a serious side effect of helpful medications.

Taking your medicine better

Stimulate your salvia production by chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candy; and avoid high sugar and high acidic food and drinks.

Seeing your dentist regularly is also a healthy habit. Call today for an appointment: In Windham, call: 603-434-0090; in Methuen call: 978-688-1895.