The teenage years are ripe with new opportunities and experiences and some of those can have a major impact on your smile. Athletics provide an excellent physical relief from the stresses of school, but some of the associated activities can degrade your oral health. Discover how Jessica navigated these challenges as she participated on the track team at her high school.
Jessica Runs Track Her Senior Year and Ends Up with Cavities
Growing up in Davidson County, Jessica was groomed early on to be an athlete. At an early age, her parents had her involved in everything from soccer and softball to basketball and swimming, but as she entered high school, she discovered her true love was running track. While she participated in a wide range of sports her first three years, she heard about a girl getting a track scholarship before she graduated and Jessica was committed – she was going to give it all her senior year and see how good she could get.
Arriving early before each practice, Jessica made sure her thirst was quenched with her favorite sports drink. Her favorite flavor was called “Blue Rush” and she joked with her friends that it made her faster. Five days per week she showed up to the track and ran her heart out. By the end of each session, Jessica felt that her mouth was completely dry, but she would quickly solve the problem with her light-blue thirst quencher.
Jessica didn’t just run hard, but she studied hard to maintain her place in the National Honor Society. This busy schedule meant that more often than not, she was choosing a breakfast she could grab and take on the go, her favorite of which was called Myoplex Lite – specifically the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Flavor. Since it was “Lite” and had protein, Jessica saw it as an ideal way to get the fuel she needed for her tough training sessions.
It wasn’t long before Jessica was beating every personal record with ease, and surprising herself at her performance. “I really do have a shot at being the best on the team.” she thought to herself. She trained diligently for an upcoming race with her school’s rival, but there was a problem. Just a few days before the big race, Jessica woke up with the worst toothache she ever had – It was so debilitating, she made an appointment at Dentistry of Nashville to figure out the problem.
3 Ways Jessica’s Track Training Caused Her Cavities
1. Jessica Chose to Hydrate with a Sports Drink Instead of Water
While her favorite sports drink did come in cool flavors, it also had enough sugar to immerse her teeth in it with every sip. Considering that it was marketed as an ideal beverage for athletes, Jessica assumed that it would offer nothing but positive benefits for her training. While the cool flavor and the electrolytes may have helped her stay hydrated, the excess sugar took a major toll on Jessica’s smile.
2. Jessica Overcame Her Dry Mouth with More Sports Drink
For those who do heavy cardio such as running, heavy breathing and breathing through the mouth are commonplace. Both of those forms of breathing cause dry mouth, a condition that seems harmless, but it depletes the mouth of its primary defense system, saliva. Had she chosen to rehydrate with water, there wouldn’t have been a problem, but relying on her favorite sugary sports drink made an impact on Jessica’s smile in the long run.
3. Jessica Regularly Eats Sugary Protein Bars
Unfortunately, Jessica was completely fooled by the marketing on her favorite protein bar. The word “lite” combined with the bullets about being natural and having lots of protein led her to believe it was a high-quality food she was eating, but that wasn’t the truth. Not only did her favorite bar contain 15g of sugar, but it was low-quality sugar, including corn syrup and polydextrose. Depending on this sugar-packed protein bar for her energy set Jessica’s teeth up for failure.
Your Decisions Make Your Smile
While having a piece of pie for dessert once in a blue moon won’t hurt you, the problem comes when you’re eating sugary foods on a regular basis. That’s when dental problems like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease can become major concerns. Even if your brushing and flossing routine is perfect, there is still no substitute for a professional cleaning from your dentist. Contact Dentistry of Nashville today to schedule your next appointment.