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Energy and sports drinks have become quite popular among teenagers and athletes in the last decade or so. While they are being consumed in large quantities do we know the effect tey may have on our dental health? Well recent research out of Britain may have the answer for us.

Dental Health Study Of Elite Athletes + Energy Drinks

In a recent study, published in the British Dental Journal, it was found that elite athletes tend to have higher rates of dental disease (including periodontal disease and tooth decay). This finding is quite surprising because the researchers also found that these same athletes brush and floss their teeth more often than the average person.

The research included a survey of 352 Olympic and professional athletes across 11 sports (These included cycling, swimming, rugby, football, rowing, hockey, and sailing). The athletes were given thorough dental examinations for male and female athletes measuring 3 dental health factors: tooth decay, periodontal health and tooth enamel erosion. The research team also noted what the athletes did to try to keep their mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

These dental examinations revealed surprising results. They found substantial amounts of dental and oral disease. They found that almost half (49.1%) of the elite athletes had untreated tooth decay, a large majority showed early signs of periodontal disease (gingivitis), and about a third (32%) reported that their oral health had a negative impact on their athletic training and performance.

These findings were quite surprising as the research team also showed that these athletes were making valid attempts to aintain dental health. This study found that 94% of the elite athletes reported brushing their teeth at least 2x a day, and 44% reported regularly flossing their teeth. When compared with the general population these numbers are much higher. The general population brushes 2x per day at about a 75% rate while only 21% floss regularly. So the elite athletes were making an honest and diligent attempt to maintain their smiles.

The survey however did find that the elite athletes are regular users of sports drinks (87%), energy bars (59%) and energy gels (70%), which have been shown in prior research studies to damage teeth and periodontal tissues.

“We found that a majority of the athletes in our survey already have good oral health related habits in as much as they brush their teeth twice a day, visit the dentist regularly, don’t smoke and have a healthy general diet,” said researcher Dr Julie Gallagher (UCL Eastman Dental Institute Centre for Oral Health and Performance).

“However, they use sports drinks, energy gels and bars frequently during training and competition; the sugar in these products increases the risk of tooth decay and the acidity of them increases the risk of tooth enamel erosion. This could be contributing to the high levels of tooth decay and acid erosion we saw during the dental check-ups.”

As for hope for the future, the surveyed athletes almost unanimously said they would consider adopting even better oral hygiene habits to tackle this and a future research study has already begun.

Dental Hygiene Checklist

Brush, Floss, Rinse Daily. Brushing at least 2 times per day for a  minimum of 2 minutes each time added with flossing at least one time per day and rinsing with an antibacterial or fluoride rinse will be a great foundation to a healthy smile.

Avoid Sugary Foods And Drinks (including energy and sports drinks). Foods and drinks high in sugar give the bacteria in the mouth the nutrition it needs to create an acidic environment inside your mouth and can lead to increased incidence of tooth decay.

Consume Plenty Of Vitamin C. A diet deficient in vitamin C can lead to oral health issues. This can include loose teeth and bleeding or inflamed gum tissues. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits. Important to note that citrus fruits are highly acidic so you should rinse your mouth with water following to neutralize the acids so as not to harm your teeth.

Select Crunchy Foods. While not a replacement for dental floss, eating hard, crunchy raw foods (like carrots, celery, nuts, and apples) can naturally clean your teeth as well as freshen your breath.

Get Your Daily Amount Of Calcium. This will not only keep your teeth strong but also the bones in your body to keep going thru sporting events. Good sources of Calcium include milk, cheese, and soybeans. Also, ensure you get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium properly. A good source of vitamin D is from the sun. So get outside and exercise harder!

Drink Lots Of Water. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your teeth and body healthy and hydrated. Water is far better for you than any other beverage you can drink.  Rinsing after every meal or snack with water will help maintain your dental health. The water can neutralize the acids being produced by the oral bacteria. This will in turn limit the amount of tooth decay that can occur.

Routine Dental Examinations. Seems like an easy one but often neglected as we get busy. It is important to not only get your teeth professionally cleaned but also to diagnose and repair any problems while in their earliest stages.

Dental Health Conclusion

This study shines a light on the dangers of energy and sport drinks. If an elite athlete is feeling the effects the general population would be hit even harder. If you are going to partake in these beverages follow up with good dental hygiene to keep your smile happy and healthy.

 



What Is A Snap On Smile?

Snap on smile is a dental appliance that is removable which is designed to snap over the existing teeth to enhance your smile. The snap on smile removable appliance is made from an extremely strong dental resin. It can be used as a short term or a long term cosmetic dentistry option. Snap on smile is a fantastic solution for many cosmetic dentistry issues. The beauty of the snap on smile is that it is a completely reversible cosmetic dentistry option. The snap on smile is far more affordable than porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. In general, the snap on smile procedure costs about the price of a single dental crown.

Is Snap On Smile Painless?

The snap on smile procedure itself is completely pain free. All your dentist needs to do is take an impression of your teeth and send it to a qualified dental laboratory technician to fabricate. It requires zero shots, zero drilling and zero removal of your natural tooth structure.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Snap On SmileWill My Speech Be Affected By Snap On Smile?

As with any dental appliance there will be an adjustment period that is temporary as you get used to having your snap on smile in your mouth. This is very common and most people report that their speech is back to normal within a few weeks. Wearing your Snap On Smile regularly will allow you to return to your normal speech pattern much faster.

Does Snap On Smile Cover All My Teeth?

Snap On Smile has been designed to cover your entire upper and/or lower arch of teeth.

How Do I Keep My Snap On Smile Clean?

A special cleaning solution will be supplied when you first receive your Snap On Smile from your dentist. Refills can be re ordered and are available through your dentist. Your dentist will recommend lining inside of snap on smile with fluoride as a layer of protection for your teeth against tooth decay.

Is Snap On Smile Covered By Insurance?

Snap On Smile is a cosmetic dental procedure. Generally, cosmetic dental appliances are not covered by dental insurance. You will want to discuss your individual insurance policy with your dentist and also give your dental insurance company a call.

I Am Missing Teeth. Will Snap On Smile Work For Me?

Snap-On Smile is the perfect solution for people with missing teeth. Your cosmetic dentist can determine if Snap-On Smile will work for your individual smile.

Dental Appointments Needed For A Snap On Smile?

The following are the steps involved in the fabrication of a custom snap on smile:

Consultation and Preparation. A full dental health evaluation must be completed prior to snap on smile fabrication. A complete set of x-rays and dental exam are needed to fully assess whether this is the proper cosmetic dental treatment for you. Your smile line, lips, they way you bite, cavities, and periodontal disease must be addressed prior to any dental appliance being fabricated.  Once any and all issues have been addressed, the dentist can consult with you to decide whether this is the proper treatment for your individual smile. A professional dental cleaning and all tooth decay must be taken care of prior to the next steps beginning so that the final snap on smile will fit perfectly and last for a long time.

Dental Impressions. This will include impressions of the teeth, photographs, and an occlusal bite registration. A bite registration allows the dental lab to know the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. At this visit you and your dentist will also pick out the style, shape, and color of your new smile.

Dental Laboratory. The information gathered by the dentist is then sent off to the dental laboratory. The dental technician will digitally create the custom made snap on smile. You may request a digital image of your snap on smile from the lab before it is completed. There is an additional fee for the digital imaging.

Snap On Smile Insertion. Following custom fabrication by the dental laboratory, your cosmetic dentist will then place the final product over your teeth. The snap on smile pops right in over your own teeth and should fit with little, if any modification. The snap on smile is durable and unlike other brands can be used for eating. Your snap on smile does comes with a warranty which can be extended by you with the Den Mat company.

Snap On Smile Conclusion

The snap on smile is so simple to complete without the need for removing any of your natural tooth structure or need to use any anesthesia. The beauty is that it is completely removable at any time with no long term effect to your natural teeth.