Did you know that there’s a connection between hardcore athletics and dental problems?
Once the majority of Olympians were found to have serious dental problems, many began to wonder what the causes were. It turns out that these cavity-causing habits are not just relegated to the highest level of athletes, but are problems that face thousands of high school and college level athletes throughout the country. Explore the decisions made by Seth during his training in college and see why they led to cavities.
Seth Makes Varsity as a Freshman but His Smile Suffers
“Get out there and play!” Seth must’ve heard his father say that statement to him a thousand times growing up, and go out and play is exactly what he did. No kid spent as much time on the field as Seth and that was a major reason why no one could compete with him in his sport of choice – baseball. He spent his entire childhood as a local legend of the sport in Fort Myers and even came close to pitching a perfect game on a few occasions.
As he entered his first year of college, Seth knew he’d have to train harder than ever to make the team. This was especially true because he’d decided to try out for the varsity team, despite being a freshman and possibly one of the youngest players if he made it. Seth saw this as the opportunity of his life and expanded his already impressive training regimen to five days per week. He’d hit the gym, run, and spend time at the batting cage with his buddies to prepare for tryouts.
Seth was an avid baseball player through and through. While it kept him in shape, he picked up a bad habit from his years in the dugout. Seth had a daily habit of chewing tobacco and like most users, he let the negative warnings he heard go in one ear and out the other. Seth never chewed tobacco in the gym, but during practice at the batting cage and while driving around town he was known to have his favorite can of dip in his back pocket.
Out of all the types of training required to be a pitcher on a college baseball team, Seth loved working out in the gym the most. Before every workout, he packed his weightlifting gloves and his favorite bright red flavor of Gatorade to keep him hydrated. Plus, as a post-workout snack, Seth preferred a Powerbar Protein Plus because it has 30g of protein – he especially liked the Chocolate Brownie Flavor.
After the months of training, Seth didn’t quite make the tryout for the varsity team. His coach and buddies had high hopes for him, but when asked what happened, many of them said the same thing: “He wasn’t himself out there – he kept touching his mouth like he had a toothache or something.”
What 3 Mistakes Led to Seth’s Declining Dental Health?
Seth was so focused on making the varsity baseball team that he didn’t notice that some of his choices were devastating for his oral health. Did you spot the three choices Seth made that took a toll on his smile?
1. Seth Developed a Habit of Chewing Tobacco
When most people think of tobacco, cigarettes come to mind, but in some sports and parts of the country, chewing tobacco is extremely prevalent. Just like tobacco in smoked form is terrible for your teeth, putting a pinch of chewing tobacco in your lip is even worse. Even after short-term use, chewing tobacco can leave your mouth riddled with sores and blisters. Over many years of use, it drastically increases your chances of developing oral cancer or losing teeth.
2. Seth Relied on Sugary Sports Drinks for Replenishment
While sports drinks are marketed like the ultimate advantage for thirsty athletes, it’s vital to check the sugar content first. In Seth’s case, the sugar content was the last thing on his mind. Seth’s simple justification was seeing that his favorite player starred in the commercial so he thought it might help his game. Had he known that the vast majority of sports drinks are loaded with cavity-causing sugar, Seth may have stuck to water and prevented damage to his teeth.
3. Seth Chose Sugary Protein Bars for His Post-Workout Snack
Not all protein bars are bad for your teeth but many are packed with enough sugar to cause plaque and tooth decay, especially if eaten on a daily basis. While Seth’s favorite protein bar contained 30g of protein, it also contained a startling 30g of sugar – that’s a lot for a 200 calorie snack that can be finished in a few minutes. Had Seth done a bit of research, he might have found that many protein bars contain very low amounts of sugar and are better for your body and smile.
Trust Your Smile to Dr. Milsap in Fort Myers, FL
Seth’s story shows that our decisions really do define our smiles. Sugar and tobacco can be tempting for a lot of teens and adults, but ultimately, it’s vital to know the ramifications of indulging in these products. Through consistent oral care at home combined with biannual dental appointments with Dr. Milsap, you can ensure that your smile stays strong and healthy. Contact Dr. Douglas Milsap to schedule your next appointment.