Exercise is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle, but for many the consumption of sports drinks and sport gels or snacks has become a part of their nutrition during a workout or training session. Although our bodies need the calories and hydration, especially with endurance training, dentists are noticing what the added sugars are doing to our oral health.
A Washington area dentist, Dr. Cobb emphasizes to his patients the importance of both reducing sugar consumption and flushing the mouth after a meal, snack or sugary drink to remove harmful bacteria and prevent the onset of tooth decay.
It is important to drink water after a sports drink or snack to help rinse the mouth and reduce the bacteria that can promote tooth decay and cavities. Chewing sugarless gum after a workout can increase saliva production and reduce bacteria on the surfaces of the teeth and around the gum line. This is, of course, in addition to regular brushing and flossing as part of a healthy oral hygiene routine.
Dr. Cobb may recommend additional at home oral hygiene practices or products for patients who show consistent signs of tooth decay or have developed gum disease as a result of a diet high in added sugars, as can be found in sports drinks.