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Exercise and your teeth

This September 28th, we’re celebrating the Canadian hero Terry Fox and his dedication to a world without cancer. Every year, millions of students join in on the Terry Fox Run to exercise and raise money for cancer research in his name, making it one of the largest fundraising events in Canadian history! But did you know that besides getting kids active and raising money for an amazing cause, the run is actually great for your teeth?

Studies show that those who exercise regularly are 54% less likely to develop gum disease! What’s more, people who have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) are at a higher risk for hypertension and diabetes, which cause oral health issues at a quicker rate. So, maintaining normal weight with proper diet and exercise can do so much more than keep you fitting into your favourite jeans.

For all its positives, exercising can cause some dental issues if you aren’t prepared with the facts. Here are some things to watch out for if you’re out on the run this year. We’ve also included how you can avoid any negatives so that you can reap all of the benefits of your workout!

Exercise Without Sports Drinks

Getting enough electrolytes when exercising is important. However, these drinks are laden with sugar and harmful acids that cause cavities and significant tooth decay. Good old water followed up with a healthy post-workout snack like apples and peanut butter or some dried fruit and nuts should do the trick just fine!

Bad news, mouth-breathers!

During intense exercise sessions, the natural reaction is to breathe heavier and through our mouths. This causes our mouths to dry out. And since our saliva acts like a rinsing and protecting agent for our teeth, bacteria is able to thrive and do damage in its absence. Try reminding yourself to breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth during exercise.

If you’re doing the run this year and raising money for cancer research, we commend you and support you. And remember the more you move, the better you and your mouth will feel.