The study of 35 triathletes and 35 non-exercisers included oral exams and assessments, saliva testing, a questionnaire about eating, drinking and oral hygiene habits, plus training habits, beverage consumption and sports nutrition.
- Drink plenty of water. Not only is it important to stay hydrated especially when training; your body also needs water to produce saliva which in turn fight germs in your mouth and prevent bad breath. Drink lots of water before, during and after workouts.
- Rinse your mouth as often as you can. Sports drinks, gels and bars are a common part of training and exercise. Remember to rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water afterwards to reduce the amount of acid or sugar lingering in your mouth.
- Chew sugar-free gum. This helps increase salivary output and prevent dry mouth.
- Mind your diet. When not in training, stay away from sugary foods and drinks. Experts say that maintaining a limit of around five teaspoons of sugar a day – less than 5% of the daily total calorie intake – will allow you to keep your teeth for life.
- Brush and floss regularly. Keep your oral hygiene in check. No matter how exhausted you are, never let a day go by without cleaning your teeth. Using an alcohol-free mouthwash can also help prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Let your dentist examine your teeth and gums regularly and have him or her address any form of dental problem that may arise right away.