Fitness is an obsession for a lot of people in America, and although it’s ultimately very healthy, some associated habits can wreak havoc on your smile. This happened in recent Olympic games just as often as it happens in high school and college gyms throughout the country. Explore some of these harmful dental choices that Jacob made when he was training for his CrossFit competition, and consider how to avoid them.
Jacob was not a natural athlete – in fact, he spent much of his childhood overweight. But when a friend invited him to try CrossFit when he was 16 years old, Jacob loved every minute of it and never looked back. Within months, he saw major improvements, and by the end of the year, Jacob was an instructor himself, helping others achieve their optimal level of fitness.
When he saw that a competition was coming up, Jacob decided to dedicate himself more than ever to his training. What better way to repay the CrossFit school that did so much for him than to successfully represent them in a national competition? Jacob was firm in his decision and decided to buy cases of his favorite protein bars and sports drinks. When Jacob got his mind set on a goal, he was unstoppable, and he decided to get everything he’d need to succeed.
The next day at the gym, Jacob led the CrossFit class, but that was just the beginning. After one class he’d replenish his energy with one or two of his favorite protein bars and restore his electrolytes with a colorful energy drink. He noticed that after an intense training session his mouth would be particularly dry, but he relied on his energy drinks which they sold in the gym, in addition to sports drinks to stay hydrated.
The day finally came for Jacob to prove his skills and endurance in a state-wide CrossFit competition, and he was ready. They chose some of his favorite workouts for the tournament, and quite simply, he crushed it. After the fanfare and after party, his close friends and students asked him what he was going to do next now that he had the trophy with the words “Fittest Man in Georgia” adorned across the rim. Jacob brushed his hand against his mouth and surprised everyone with his answer: “I need to go to the dentist dude – my teeth are killing me right now!”
Jacob understood that staying fit was an excellent way to remain in good health, but he neglected to think about how his decisions may affect his teeth. Ultimately three of the decisions he made while training for his CrossFit tournament took a major toll on his smile. See what these choices were and how he could’ve prevented the damage to his teeth.
There are definitely low sugar protein bars out there, but many of them have a sugar content that rivals a candy bar. By eating these bars for a snack multiple times per day, Jacob thought he was loading up on protein and vitamins, and he was, but he was also taking a toll on his teeth. By choosing a healthy snack like a bag of veggies or fresh fruits, he would have got a great energy boost and his teeth would’ve been better off.
While beverages such as Gatorade are marketed as highly-beneficial to athletes, it’s important to look at the sugar content. Some of them may taste great and come in bright appealing colors, but also have a deceptive level of sugar. By drinking these daily, Jacob was unaware that he was bathing his teeth in sugar and acids with every sip. If Jacob just kept a reliable water bottle, he could have stayed hydrated without harming his smile.
The fact that Jacob chose a sugary sports drink was exacerbated by the fact that heavy breathing during training causes dry mouth. Dry mouth leaves your mouth depleted of its most valuable defense system, saliva. Normally, saliva would wash away excess debris, but Jacob used sports drinks instead. In this case, choosing water to re-moisturize his mouth would have kept it fresh and hydrated.
Whether you realize it or not, the decisions you make every day can make a major impact on your smile. Like Jacob training for a CrossFit tournament and making choices that led to cavities, it’s worthwhile to think about our own actions, and how they might affect our teeth. If you notice anything wrong with your teeth or are ready for your next appointment, contact Dr. Shah in Dacula, GA for top quality dental care – we can’t wait to meet you!