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  • Alex Huszti

Shift Workers Dental Health Cheat Sheet


1. Stay hydrated with WATER. Your brain is 75% water – water – good hydration is critical to the functioning of your brain and maintaining concentration. Remember that any caffeinated drink (such as tea or coffee) will dehydrate you and cause water loss. This must be replenished regularly if you wish to maintain concentration and ward off drowsiness.


2. Avoid soft drinks and energy drinks. This includes sugar-containing drinks, “no sugar” drinks, fruit juices of any kind, still drinks (sweet drinks), sparkling drinks (including sparkling water), and rehydration aids. The combination of sugar and acids (buffered acids used to preserve these commercially produced drinks) will dissolve your teeth. This is particularly true if you drink these kinds of drinks in regular sips or gulps.


As you can tell, I have seen many patients who have destroyed their dental health with these kinds of (soft) drinks – I do not advocate any of them. However, if you must consume these kinds of drinks, observe the following: Only consume one serving per day, combine this with a meal and drink the beverage in one or two gulps to minimise tooth exposure (throw away the cap).


3. Drink tea or coffee – no sugar


4. Short regular periods of chewing sugarfree gum is an excellent way to stay alert. When you chew gum, the neural pathways that travel up your spinal cord to your brain stay open. When these are open, you have greater alertness, quicker reaction times and better concentration. If you have ever watched baseball – you may have noticed that the players chew gum. They are instructed to do this by their coach because it improves reaction times!


5. Avoid carbohydrate-laden meals, i.e. avoid bread, rice, pasta, sugary foods and potatoes. These types of foods will send you to sleep – which is OK after your shift but not before or during. Stick to meat (tuna, salmon, roast beef, sardines) and non-starchy vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, tinned/bottled artichoke hearts) and to feel fuller, consider avocados. These foods will help avoid “food comas” brought on by carbohydrates.

 

intouch contributor DR ALEX HUSZTI BelleDental

Alex has had a career focused on low-biologic cost reconstructive cosmetic dental care –

common sense teeth for life.

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