Athletes Have Better Dental Hygiene than Most People

Dental problems arise among top athletes despite the fact they have better oral hygiene habits than the majority of the population. They brush their teeth and floss more frequently than the general population.

Facts about Athletes’ Dental Problems

A new UCLA study surveyed 352 Olympic and professional athletes.  A wide cross-section of male and female athletes participated in the survey that included 11 sports: swimming, football, rugby, cycling, rowing, hockey and sailing to name a few. Dental checkups measured dental problems related to tooth decay, gum health and acid erosion. The study revealed the following facts:

  • Close to half (49%) had untreated tooth decay.
  • More than half had gum inflammation.
  • Close to one-third (33%) indicated that oral health adversely affected their training and performance.

Dental Hygiene Habits Statistics

Their dental hygiene was markedly better than the average person in the U.S.:

  • 94% brushed twice a day (75% of general population brushes twice daily)
  • 44% flossed (21% of the general population flosses regularly)

What Was the Underlying Reason for Poor Oral Health?

A higher use of sports drinks, energy bars and energy gels are known to cause dental problems.

  • 87% drank sports drinks
  • 59% ate energy bars
  • 70% used energy gels

The products contain high amounts of sugar and cause tooth decay and increased acidity that can lead to tooth erosion. Some athletes also suffer from dry mouth during when extensively training, which could be another underlying factor.

The types of changes athletes were willing to consider include greater use of fluoride mouthwash, reducing sports drinks intake and more frequent dental visits.

(Reference: Science Daily)

Do You Have Concerns About Your Dental Health?

Eating healthy foods and staying away from foods containing sugar will help. Also,regular checkups with our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental can help you stay on top of dental care.

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