Staying away from sweets and eating foods high in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K3, iodine, zinc and phosphorous from a healthy diet, plus brushing and flossing are just the basics for keeping your pearly whites healthy. They’re what most people identify as the pillars for good dental health. Did you also know that exercise can give you a great smile?
There are some things you have to change to prevent dental problems.
One study showed that people who exercised rigorously and spent long hours at the gym, such as an endurance athlete like a distance runner, actually had more problems with dental caries than those who did not. Scientists identified two reasons for this. One was breathing through the mouth and the other was drinking excessive sports drinks that often contained sugar. Breathing through the mouth dried it out and created an environment perfect for germs to grow. Take a cue from yoga masters and use their breathing techniques. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth to protect your teeth during a hard workout.
It’s not just cavities that attack teeth.
Periodontal disease, gum disease, can destroy your smile by creating inflamed gums and after a time, causing the loss of teeth. Being more active and exercising regularly can help. People who had a lower BMI showed a lower risk for periodontal disease. Another study showed that exercising at least three times a week could cut the risk of gum disease in half. If you smoked, there wasn’t any difference. Perhaps the cause was that smoking tends to dry out the mouth.
- Weight bearing exercises help build stronger bones and prevents osteoporosis. Bone loss can occur anywhere, including the jaw. Studies show that exercise helps prevent bone loss in the jaw and keep teeth anchored tightly.
- Include food high in vitamin A in your diet to help maintain a healthy smile. Foods high in this vitamin include eggs, carrots, spinach and cantaloupe.
- Drink green tea every day to reduce your risk of losing teeth. A study at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan foun that people who drank one cup of green tea each day, benefitted from the catechin polyphenols in the tea that killed bacteria causing periodontal disease and tooth decay.
- Drink water frequently during workouts, since one study showed that high endurance athletes had a change in their saliva and the amount they produced. Saliva not only protects teeth, it helps them remineralize teeth.