By Dave Sherman
We runners, and especially us endurance athletes, must really hate our teeth with the amount we put them through… That may seem like a bold statement but let’s take a quick look at the grief our teeth encounter in the lead up to, and during, a typical marathon, ultra or long distance triathlon:
- During our long runs we’ll typically knock back energy gel after energy gel, or if you prefer the natural alternative – sugary fruits or homemade energy bars featuring dates, honey, agave and many other sweet treats
- During the carb-loading phase we’ll typical binge on a mix of carbs including full-fat fizzy drinks, fruit and juices.
- Finally, come race day and after a nice sugary breakfast (croissants covered in honey is my personal favourite) the majority of us will be spending over 3 hours consuming these energy gels, sugary natural alternatives and handfuls of jelly beans and jelly babies alongside bottles of hypertonic energy drinks
In short – we love the energy burst these sugary snacks offer and yes, they help us to get through the miles, but how many of us think about the potential damage all of this is doing to our teeth?!
Most guidance suggests non-elite athletes should consume between 40 and 60g of carbs per hour of exercise but that’s a serious amount of sugar, and this is where products such as the iWhite Tooth Polisher come in…
Now before I continue I should say, I’m taking a different point of view here from the product’s intended purpose as yes, this product is primarily designed and marketed as a ‘Tooth Whitener’ and of course as any dentist will tell you, you can care for your teeth pretty well by brushing and flossing regularly, however I’ve been using this device for a few months now as my training distances have increased and as my sugar consumption has peaked as we enter marathon season, and I have to say I feel much more confident knowing my teeth are getting that extra level of cleaning from this small gadget. The device’s operation is very simple; you apply the whitening gel – which can be replenished at a cost of £9.95 for a 10ml tube and 2 new device heads once it runs out – to your teeth and to the device head – basically a small cone of material – and you then use the device on each individual tooth for a few seconds at a time.
Admittedly this operation did leave me wondering if you could obtain similar results with an electric toothbrush and the jury’s still out on whether it’ll make my teeth whiter than white as I’d imagine I’ll need to use it for a much longer time period to find that out, however unlike most electric toothbrushes I’ve owned this device is very small and easy to transport, takes 2 x AAA batteries (which I should add have lasted the entire 2 months I’ve been testing the device), and I feel offers an extra layer of tooth protection along with the added bonus of whitening your teeth at the same time – which can’t be bad if you’re an endurance athlete who plans to still have healthy teeth when you’re much older!
To find out more about the iWhite Tooth Polisher visit http://shop.iwhiteinstant.com/en/products/iwhite-instant-tooth-polisher.html or the device is available to buy from Boots at http://www.boots.com/en/iWhite-Tooth-Polisher_1754252/