Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Fit for Floss and Gloss

This is about fitness and healthy teeth and gums. Not super-white, scarily Hollywood style teeth. Just healthy ones that you maintain with regular brushing, flossing and not consuming acidic food like a madwoman.

If you're anything like me, you are a sucker for morning lemon juice and water, a mid-morning coffee, tomatoes in everything, and berries. Oh, berries!

They're all healthy - superfoods, some of them - but they also stain your tooth enamel and in some cases, soften and wear the enamel (outer layer of your teeth).

In the interests of avoiding longer dates with your dentist - nothing personal, I just don't want to spend a couple of weeks' rent on an appointment that involves cheap sunglasses and drills - here are some quick and fast facts.

After coffee and tea, drink a glass of plain water to lessen the acidic effect.

Wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth (your tooth enamel is really sensitive post-meal)

Floss.

Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and preferably, do like I do, and use an enamel-strengthening product recommended by dentists (Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief).

Get a professional dental check and clean at least every 6 months. If you have private health insurance with dental cover, you may get this either free or very, very subsidised! Do as I do, and ask for samples of toothpaste and/or brushes while you're there. I stocked up on Colgate Sensitive range last time. Love it - easy to find at the supermarket and chemist.

If the very notion of private health insurance makes you weep into your empty purse, look into public dental health services in Melbourne. General, specialised and emergency options available.

Avoid sports gels and drinks - they are full of sugar, salt, chemical flavourings and in addition, if you're endurance training, your mouth is going to get dry and your gums are going to suffer.

If you're sweating like it's a zillion degrees and training for over an hour, opt for electrolyte-rich coconut water that is also high in minerals and vitamins (watch the kilojoule count though, this differs markedly between brands).
My pick is C Coconut Water because it's 100% organic, no additives, preservatives, colours and Australian!

Breathe through your nose. Breathing through your mouth dries out your gums and teeth and creates a great environment for bacterial breeding. Ick.

DRINK WATER. LOTS OF IT. THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

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