Sport and teeth

I discovered trail running when I met my boyfriend.
He had just finished the TDS race and got ready for the next edition of the UTMB.
I saw him making his long runs and his prep races, his bag full of strongly sweetened food. I was frightened to see that he could run more than 24 hours without brushing his teeth!
His answer when I asked him about that « you will never see anybody on refreshment points brushing their teeth! It is not the priority! « 
Yes, I know it is not the priority, but here are some truths which will learn you that your teeth deserve a few seconds of care during your races! 
As a sportsman, you changed the frequency, the composition and the quantity of your food, your food supply is richer in carbohydrates and in proteins.
Furthermore you drink high carbohydrated solutions with an acidic pH. 
Eating a lot of proteins, you promote the development of bacteria metabolizing those proteins. These bacteria are going to produce sulphurized compounds fowls or Amines biogenes at the origin of the bad breath…
Bacteria are going to transform sugar into acids, when the oral pH comes lower than 5.5, it is the beginning of enamel demineralization…
It takes 40 minutes for the pH of the mouth to go back to 7. If you take some sugar every 20 minutes, you maintain the acidity of your mouth and the appearance of decays.
Isotonic drinks promote the wear of the teeth. The pH of these drinks is about 3, a lemon juice 1.8 and water 7.2.
The more there is acids, the less there is phosphate or calcium, the more these drinks are going to create erosion on your teeth, little as a premature ageing…
What to do with your teeth?
First of all, brush your teeth every 8 hours, or after every meal, or 3 times a day, as you want, but you have to take care of your teeth EVERY DAY SEVERAL TIMES a day.
It is necessary to use a soft toothbrush. Medium and hard toothbrushes are to clean braces, not teeth.
It is better to change more frequently a soft toothbrush than to keep 6 months a medium toothbrush, which is going to become a nest with bacteria (imagine drying yourself with the same towel during 6 months, yuk!).
For the type of brushing, do not force, go slowly but more time (3 minutes).
Don’t use whitening toothpaste! The degree of abrasion is very high!
Then it is necessary to clean between the teeth, with dental floss to remove the food from the contact points between your teeth and with inter-dental little brushes to eliminate bacteria between your teeth. Little brushes diameter has to be adapted to every inter-dental spaces, it has to rub, without floating nor forcing.
It is normal to use several diameters to clean all the spaces! 
Then, it is necessary to go every 6 months to the dentist or to the dental hygienist (unfortunately this job does not exist in France, just in Switzerland, in Canada and in Northern Europe countries) to scale, polish and disinfect your mouth.
It is necessary to accommodate these visits before the beginning of the running season to prepare your mouth and at the end of the season to estimate the damages…
If you have erosion on your teeth, it is necessary to make them fill with composite resins.
For sportsmen with severe erosion, you have to wear a mouth tray with tanks to put the teeth in contact with adapted products (GC tooth mouss), and that, several hours a week.
It will also be necessary to use Elmex Protection Erosion’s toothpaste of GABA.
If your teeth are not aligned, or some teeth are missing or if you have crackles in the jaw, it is absolutely necessary to consult a dentist to rebalance the cervical neuro-muscular chain (which has repercussions on all the rest of the body) and to improve your sports performances.
For every day, limit acidic drinks or foods during the meal.
If you have to drink an acidic drink, make it with a straw so that it goes directly to the back of the mouth and the teeth are not soaked.
For information, Coke® even Light, it is pH 2.3…
Never brush your teeth directly after an acidic food or an acidic drink! Imagine that you throw some acid on a bathtub and you rub it.. You aggravate the situation! You have to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Nevertheless you can rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash, some water or some milk to neutralize the acidity!
End your meals with a neutral food or rich in calcium and phosphate (yoghurt, cheese, glass of milk).

Drink! Some water of course!Replace fruit juices by fresh fruits, chewing will favor the salivation which is going to neutralize the acid attacks.

What’s to be done during your long runs and ultras?

After every sugar or acidic snacks:
– Chew a gum without sugar for a few minutes to stimulate the salivation;
– Drink some water;
– Rinse your mouth with the mouthwash Elmex Protection Erosion of GABA (mainly in refreshment points, ask your family or friend to bring you some).

I do not discourage to see a trailer taking care of his teeth on a refreshment point!
And if you see it an it will probably be my man who will have decided to follow my advices!

 

Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc 2015

Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc 2015

This post is also available in: French

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