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Harry Kemble, Reporter
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
It seems there is one downside being an elite athlete competing around the world with your face beamed throughout your country during the Olympic and Commonwealth Games - you are more prone to tooth decay.
Dentist Hitesh Mody, a borough resident of 35 years, made the revelation ahead of this month’s Commonwealth Games which he has been invited to volunteer at after working at the London 2012 Olympics.
“Athletes do have a lot more decay than you would expect,” said Dr Mody. “They drink a lot more sugary drinks.”
Dr Mody, who runs Valentine Dental Health Centre in Cranbook Road, Gants Hill, claims decay was worse amongst Paralympic athletes.
“I cannot explain why athletes suffer more from decay than normal - it is just the drinks they use,” he added.
Dr Mody stopped short of revealing whose gnashers were worse than Albert Steptoe, citing patient confidentiality.
“The athletes’ village is a sanctuary - they have to feel safe and protected - it is a private area,” he added.
The dentist was picked to work at London 2012 Olympics after a rigorous selection process.
After enjoying the Olympic experience so much he was invited back for Scotland’s largest ever sporting event, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this month.
Dr Mody said the worst injury he saw whilst working as a dentist at London 2012 was Great Britain hockey captain Katie Walsh’s fractured jaw after she was hit by an opponent’s stick.
He freely admits he had to refer her on to a facial surgeon for further treatment.
“My main role at these events is providing mouth guards,” he added. “We provide mouth guards to hockey players and boxers too.”
Dr Mody’s practice in Gants Hill has been adorned with London 2012 merchandise - tickets, posters and certificates - even the staff wear Gamesmaker uniforms from the Olympics.
Dr Mody went one step further by buying the dental chair in which he treated athletes for the lofty sum of £8,000 after the games had finished.
Although, Dr Mody admitted he has to point out the fact the chair came from the games to his regular patients.
He said: “It is ironic - it does not get as much notice as all the other memorabilia in my practice.”