Athletes  Whats Your Dental Hygiene Like?

13th January 2015

Sportsmen and women could be putting their teeth at risk and may want to visit a private dentist in Manchester or elsewhere if they consume a lot of sugary sports drinks, with new research revealing that nearly half of all athletes haven’t been to see a specialist in the last 12 months.

Conducted by the UCL Eastman Dental Institute and the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study found that one in five sportspeople have not performed as well as they could because of poor oral health, sports drinks and high carb diets.

Such athletes were more likely to report difficulty sleeping and eating, general inflammation, pain and less confidence which, the authors of the study suggest, could have an impact on their performance. Just by improving flossing and brushing, people could do much better on the field, with the same performance gains seen as if they’d been for physical therapy.

Co-author professor Ian Needleman said the report was not out to condemn energy drinks but people need to be more aware of oral health risks. “Water or hypotonic drinks are likely to be more suitable for simple hydration, and spit don’t rinse after tooth brushing,” he remarked, going on to add that for sports where lots of energy drinks are required athletes should consider using mouthwash and high fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride is particularly beneficial in helping to prevent tooth decay and people could also consider using fluoride varnish, which has high levels of the mineral and is painted onto the surface of the teeth, strengthening the enamel and making it more resistant to decay.