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Having braces (or Invisalign) will require a few lifestyle changes for most of us. Most of these changes are small, such as closer attention to brushing, flossing, and eating habits, but they are important to keep braces in good condition and teeth healthy. In fact, these are good habits to have regardless of whether you have braces or not!

Food is a wonderful thing, and the huge variety of it is undeniably one of the simplest pleasures of life. Unfortunately, however, many foods are very bad for our teeth, particularly when we have braces. Just by knowing how some foods act on other things around us (think Coke staining a tablecloth or maple syrup sticking to our fingers) we can take a guess on some. Others can be more stealthy.

Let’s take a look at a few types of foods and how they affect teeth and braces:

Hard foods

Hard foods like hard candy, ice, and nuts are hard on teeth and hard on braces. These kinds of foods are like gravel and have the potential to wear down teeth and damage braces. Plus, the sugar in hard candies promote the growth of bacteria which results in cavities.

Sticky foods

Sticky foods like caramel and gum are very bad ideas with braces. They can get stuck between braces or teeth and if not brushed or flossed away soon, can start to damage teeth. While sugar-free gum isn’t bad for your teeth, it’s not a good idea with braces.

Acidic foods

Very acidic foods and drinks like soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks are the worst at promoting cavities. The drinks listed above are doubly harmful because they also contain a lot of sugar, which cavity-causing bacteria love to feed on.

With some patience and a little bit of practice, you can still enjoy your favorite foods whether you have braces or not. If you have any questions about braces in Creve Coeur, Invisalign, and best care practices, contact Dr. Andy Frost in Creve Coeur, MO by calling (314) 567-1888 or by filling out our simple online form.

Of all people, why do elite athletes tend to have bad teeth? You would think that people who spend so much time and effort on their bodies would not neglect their mouths, but they do. Paul Piccininni, the dental director for the International Olympic Committee has seen the problem first-hand time and time again.

He bluntly commented on the issue, saying, “they have bodies of Adonis and a garbage mouth.” He has seen many athletes over the year who have had serious dental problems, some of them bad enough to keep an athlete out of a competition. Even Michael Jordan had a an undisclosed dental issue that could have kept him out of the 1984 games when he was Team USA’s top scorer.

But why do the mouths of these otherwise models of perfect health tend to suffer? According to Piccininni, training is a big issue. Everything an athlete does to train for an elite competition like the olympics seems to be hard on teeth, from frequent eating to dehydration and teeth grinding. Drinking acidic and sugary sports drinks and energy gels add to the problem, as does the stress of competition and neglect as a result of travel.

In some athletes’ cases, access to care and financial resources are the issue. Medical treatment at the Olympics is free for athletes, so some will put off going to a dentist until they know their care will be paid for. Still other athletes are too focused on the more competitive parts of their bodies to bother with their teeth.

Like the rest of us, it seems that most of these athletes start taking better care of their teeth in the end. This may come as a result of a missed competition, an unexpected procedure, or even a decrease in performance.

A healthy mouth is important for all of us, including athletes. A straight, attractive smile is also essential for some of us. After appearing in so many TV shows, movies, and commercials, even Michael Jordan sees the benefit of taking care of his teeth now.

Contact Dr. Frost in Creve Coeur, MO if you’re thinking about braces or Invisalign. After you see how easy the process has become, you will want to make the investment in yourself. Simply fill out our online form or give us a call at 314-567-1888.

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