Strength Training and Your Teeth

Six months comes by too quickly when you realize that you have to go to the dentist. Don’t get me wrong, I like my dentist and it took me years of jumping ships and experienced agony to find one like him, who is down to earth and pays attention to detail. This guy even cleans my teeth himself, talk about the king’s treatment.

Anyway my dentist has all of these fancy gadgets that my old one did not have.I told him that two of my lower teeth on the opposite sides of each other had been hurting occasionally.I hardly ever have teeth pain and I have only had one cavity my whole life so I was not sure what it was.He checked them out, performed a myriad of tests, took a few pictures and came up with his conclusion.He showed me some pictures and a chart of my teeth a year ago.He said a year ago they were fine, within the last year he said I had started grinding them.He showed me the wear and tear spots on my molars and said “yep one year ago you were fine because you didn’t own a business, now you have one and along with it added stress.”

I found this alarming, I do not feel more stressed than before, busier sure but not stressed. Looking at the pictures I knew he was right and I am not sure if that was a good thing or not because I now have a visual image of the aftermath caused by my stress so whether that creates even more I don’t know. Before I get too far off track, I naturally asked what I should do to prevent the further decay of my teeth without getting a new profession. I found the analogy he used interesting because it made a ton of sense. He told me that my teeth were like strength training. If I did nothing I would be fine for a while but if I were to look at the big picture, ten years down the road, I would have some serious problem. He also said that if I were take a few more precautionary measures, again 10 years down the road, my teeth will be even healthier, cause me a lot less pain and a lot less money to fix.

When he said that it made me grow pensive and think about the way I try to equate every aspect of life to training. When a new athlete or client comes in and tells me their goals I ask them how long do they feel it will take to reach their goals? Some will say “a couple of week.” Some slightly smarter ones will say “a couple of months.” What I try to tell them is something like this:

“Training is not something magical that will somehow transform you into the person you think you want to be, it is simply another means to an end. It is, however, a powerful means if used systematically, wisely, and by a person in the right frame of mind. Training is an investment and that investment usually has a long term goal attached to it. Long term goals are necessary and they must be seen as long term. Short term goals are often overlooked yet equally necessary because they are the milestones you hit when heading down the road towards your long term goal. So whether it is to lose 15lbs. or to get that college soccer scholarship first we have to make sure that we hit the milestones that come before it like;

  • Feeling better
  • Learning and perfecting new skills
  • Building our work capacity
  • Gaining Strength and flexibility
  • Losing some weight and adding some muscle
  • Starting to perform better in our sports

It is after these things are achieved that our long term goal comes into sight.For some it might have taken months, some years but it does come.A sign of success is not only achieving your long term goal but the path that took you there.”

Many do not realize is that the training investment can take you far beyond your long term goal. After it is reached you can use that training to access many other avenues into your adult life. You can be fit to run around with your kids,

Happier, less stressed, and possibly the most important, have a life with, greater health, less injuries and pain.

I told my dentist that after I had my visit with him I went out my local drug store and bought a new toothbrush case, some paste, floss, and mouthwash and put in my gym medicine cabinet. I am committed to the investment of my teeth. My long term goal is to stop the occasional grinding pain and the excess tartar that build up because of it and I realize that if I do that my extended future will be one where my teeth will be much stronger and have less wear tens years down the line. All of these things will keep me from doing something more frequently that I didn’t like doing in the first place…going to my see my dentist for a checkup.