AW promotion: Studies have shown that smiling doesn’t just make you feel better, it can improve running efficiency

Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge has a weapon he likes to use when the going gets tough and he wants to strike fear into his opposition. He smiles.

“The smile is what ignites my mind, so I can forget about the pain,” says the Olympic champion. “That is the beauty of a smile.”

Studies have in fact shown that smiling doesn’t just make you feel better, it can improve running efficiency – so showing off your pearly whites might even help you on your way to a personal best.

Keeping that winning smile in peak condition can be particularly difficult for runners.

When you are out logging the miles, your teeth are probably the last thing on your mind but a report published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports highlighted that endurance runners may face a higher risk of tooth decay and cavities.

The study found that when participants went on runs lasting around 35 minutes, their mouths became drier and saliva went through a change in chemical composition, becoming more alkaline – something which has been associated with tartar, plaque and other teeth problems.

Add in the sugar found in products such as sports drinks, energy gels and protein bars, as well as teeth grinding which can occur during workouts and you could be looking at problems including loss of enamel, tooth decay and gum disease.

Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist can help greatly, of course, and dental cover is one of the many benefits of the new Simplyhealth Active Plan, designed to help you achieve your goals.

What’s covered on the Simplyhealth Active Plan?

Check-ups and treatment provided by a dentist e.g. fillings, crowns and bridges, hygienist fees, dentures and repairs, dental brace or gum-shields and dental X-rays.

What your dentist checks:

  • Your jaw joints
  • Looks at occlusion (bite)
  • Assesses you for infections, including your tongue and gums
  • Checks you for oral cancer by feeling lumps in the jaw, neck and throat
  • Records measurements of your gums to assess for gum disease
  • Examines your teeth for caries (tooth decay)
  • Offers oral health advice, tailored to you

Prevention is better than cure and most issues solved in the dental chair are avoidable so don’t put off that check-up.

For just £14 per month, Active Plan allows you to claim towards the costs of dental treatment. Active Plan also includes many more benefits such as health assessments, physiotherapy and prescription sports glasses.

PLUS – join today and get two months free! T&Cs apply.

Simplyhealth Active Plan. Be your personal best.



Or call 0330 102 5462 (Mon to Fri: 8am to 8pm, Sat: 9am to 5pm)