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THE LINK BETWEEN BREATHING AND PERFORMANCE HOW YOUR DENTIST CAN HELP YOU IN THE GYM
Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? This year, that designation feels ironic considering the worldwide shutdown of sporting events and gyms. Still, it’s important we move our bodies during social distancing, and if you’re a fitness nerd like me, then you’ve probably been counting down the days until you can get back to the gym or the dance studio. Honestly, that longing to get moving again makes National Physical Fitness and Sports Month feel more relevant than ever. In addition to home workouts and family dance- offs (a very important habit for staying sane during quarantine), one thing you can still do as an athlete is research ways to improve your performance. To help you get started, here’s the rundown on an often-missed connection:
the link between what we do in the dentist’s office and how you perform in the gym.
your airway and protect your teeth and jaw. Weightlifters often clench their teeth when hefting heavy weights, because the move can improve joint stability and help them lift more. By aligning your bite with a mouthguard (Under Armour makes good ones!), you can create a better platform for clenching. Plus, the guard will move your jaw forward and widen your airway. It’s a win-win, and it’s backed by research! In 2011, a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association revealed wearing an ArmourBite mouthpiece improved endurance, exercise intensity, and recovery in college athletes. When you’re running, you can get similar results by moving your jaw forward, closing your lips, and breathing through your nose. When I was training for my triathlon, that technique helped me run farther and faster! Increase Your Oxygen Intake With a Turbine Nasal Dilator You can also get more air by widening your nasal passages using a Rhinomed Turbine Nasal Dilator. This little stent, which looks a bit like a nose ring, slides into your nostrils and opens up your airway while you exercise.
By now, you know how much emphasis we put on the airway and breathing here at Great Smiles. If you have a clear airway, then you’ll sleep better and get oxygen to your bloodstream more efficiently. This is great for your daily life because you’ll be better rested and more clearheaded, but it’s particularly important for sports! When you’re working out, your breathing is your performance. Oxygen is your fuel, and there are ways you can maximize your intake with the help of a dentist and some easy-to-use products. Speed Up Your Race Times With Invisalign or an Oral Appliance An oral appliance can do wonders for opening up your airway. This kind of appliance will move your lower jaw and tongue forward, opening the space and allowing more oxygen to flow! If you have a crooked bite, then getting it adjusted by an experienced dentist can boost your athletic performance, and it doesn’t need to be with an oral appliance. One of my patients, a triathlete, came to me for help with her bite, and I set her up with Invisalign. It opened up her airway so much that her running and swimming times decreased! Her swim times in particular were dramatically faster after the treatment, and she attributed that to the Invisalign. Lift Heavier Weights With a Mouthguard If your bite just needs a small adjustment, then you can use a mouthguard to open up
If you go with the clear version of the product, then it’s hardly even visible!
You can easily order a turbine nasal dilator and mouthguard online and put them to the test in your own home. If you’re worried your airway problems are more serious, then my team and I can help. Even in these crazy times, we’re still available for emergencies — and that includes helping you breathe better with oral appliances. To learn more about the treatment that’s right for you, call us at 908-561-0225.
Trish Sabater, Dr. Weddle's youngest sister, is a fitness model and architect in NYC.
Are You Stressed Out? Suffering From Headaches? You Might Be Clenching Your Teeth! Since the coronavirus pandemic began, we’ve seen a big spike in patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. This ache in your jaw comes from clenching your teeth and can cause headaches, interrupted sleep, and reduced immunity, which is the last thing you want in a health crisis. If you’re suffering from TMJ pain, then we can help! Call us today at 908-561-0225 to schedule emergency treatment and protect your health.
To your great smile and better health,
–Dr. Michelle Wedd le
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