It seems, despite good oral hygiene, that athletes have bad teeth. The culprits – high-sugar sports drinks, gels and snacks.
A recent study carried out by UCL looked at athletes across a number of sporting areas including cycling, swimming, rowing, hockey, sailing, athletics, rugby and football.
The study showed:
- 94% of athletes brushed their teeth twice a day compared with 75% of the general public
- 44% flossed regularly compared with 21% of the public
Smoking rates and overall diets were also much better in the elite athletes. However, the high-sugar sports drinks, gels and bars consumed during training and competitions increases the risk of tooth decay and erosion.
Of the athletes interviewed:
- 87% used sports drinks
- 59% used energy bars
- 70% used energy gels
Around half of elite athletes in the UK study have signs of tooth decay compared with around a third of similarly aged adults. And, this poor oral health, can have an impact on training and performance.
The good news – there are many natural alternatives that can look after you, your teeth, and ensure you still achieve those performance goals.