Oral health is important for everyone; especially athletes. A healthy smile looks great but healthy teeth are vital for your overall health. Studies show that oral health can affect athletic performance because poor oral health is known for inflammation, which impacts a persons health in a negative way. In addition, dental pain or low self-esteem can also affect athletic performance. Athletes need to keep in mind that too much exercise can cause problems. Oral health tips for athletes are effective and useful.

Health tip #1: Maintain a Good Oral Care

There are several easy things an athlete can do in order to maintain good oral health such as rinsing your mouth with plain water after you have consumed sports drinks, gels or bars during exercise.

Rinsing your mouth with plain water can reduce the amount of acid in your mouth.
Another step that will help is using xylitol-containing mints or chewing gum between workouts.
This helps to fight cavity causing bacteria and increase saliva in your mouth. In addition, when you are not training or racing, get rid of the many forms of sugar, acid and carbohydrates in your diet as much as possible.
In addition, it will help lower your risk of tooth decay. Most importantly, brush and floss your teeth twice a day and do this within an hour of beginning and completing a workout.
And, visit your dentist on a regular basis and follow any advice given concerning oral care. This will help to lower your risk for dental decay.

Health tip #2: Your Mouth Guard Can be Your Closest Friend

Mouth guards are important for almost any athlete. They cover your upper teeth and provide protection for your teeth, tongue, lips, face and jaw against injuries. For many athletes, wearing a mouth guard becomes second nature; however, it is very important to make sure that it fits properly. Your dentist can help you choose a mouth guard that best fits your individual needs.

Health tip #3: Skip the Sugary Sports Drinks

Although they taste good, sugary sports drinks are bad for your teeth. Instead of a sugary drink, reach for water instead. When you drink a sugary drink, the bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar in the sports drink to create acid. This acid will weaken the enamel of your teeth. In time, this could increase your risk for cavities. So, skip the sugar drink and go for the water. You will feel refreshed and more energized to exercise.

Health tip #4 Brush, Floss, Rinse and Repeat

Brushing, flossing, rinsing and repeating are effective for those who want to maintain good oral health. As with anything, be it sports or other areas of life, practice makes perfect. This is true also for good dental health. Most dentists agree; an unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged if a sports injury occurs. Keep in mind; teeth that are in the decaying process, teeth also that require fillings, are not strong and are more likely to be injured. Gum inflammation can be prevented with good oral care.

Health tip #5: Be Aware of Dry Mouth

Unfortunately, dry mouth is a common dental issue among athletes and this dental concern occurs when not enough saliva is produced. To prevent this from happening, always have water handy and brush your teeth between practices. Another tip that will help is to choose foods that are rich in calcium and phosphates like cheese, milk and yogurt. These foods help to keep the surface of your teeth strong.

To conclude, oral health is important for everyone; especially athletes. A healthy smile looks great but is also important for your overall health. Talk with your dentist or coach soon concerning additional oral health tips for athletes and see what he/she thinks. With the many benefits of caring for your teeth, it just makes sense to take good care of them. Your dentist can answer any question you have about good dental care.