While it seems almost inevitable that many individuals’ New Year’s resolutions include enhancing their physiques, consider the research that suggests one’s smile is the first thing others notice. A great, healthy smile is a perfect goal for boosting your self-esteem and your overall dental health.
The saying “a healthy mouth, healthy you” is really true. It has been proven that good oral hygiene can improve your overall health. It also can reduce the risk of disease. A healthy resolution doesn’t have to include long hours of maintenance; you can achieve health with a few simple steps which will not only leave your mouth in a better condition but your overall body as well.
Being healthy is not restricted to just one area of your body – don’t neglect your oral health because you are too focused on something else! By caring for both your physical and oral health, you will look and feel even better in 2015.
Just as you would not expect to complete a marathon after a few weeks of training, don’t get discouraged — Keep working toward better oral health and the results will follow!
Take the time to make a schedule for addressing your oral health needs. If you have not made an appointment recently, call me! Also, it could be beneficial to write reminders and tape them to your bathroom mirror. This would make it difficult to forget to floss or brush your teeth before leaving for work or going to sleep at night!
Oral Healthcare Affects the Rest of Your Body Too
Poor oral healthcare has been associated with the occurrence of infection in other parts of the body. Inflammation from gum disease has been shown to contribute to the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes. Having diabetes can inhibit your ability to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious periodontal disease. So by reducing your risk of gingivitis and keeping your mouth healthy, it may help control your blood sugar.
You are what you eat — Foods for healthy teeth
Cleaning your teeth is essential for healthy teeth, but did you know that the kind of foods you eat can also help — or hinder — your dental health? Eating foods that are good for your teeth and being cautious about those that aren’t is key to having a healthy smile.
The best choices for healthy teeth are foods with:
Calcium. Enamel is a tooth’s first defense against decay. If the enamel on your teeth is eroded or damaged, you’re at higher risk for tooth sensitivity and cavities. You can help strengthen your tooth enamel by eating foods high in calcium. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt are calcium staples that don’t add unhealthy saturated fat to your diet. Hard cheese in particular also helps neutralize the acids found in foods that threaten tooth enamel. Other good sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables like kale, bok choy, and even Brussels sprouts, which deliver a healthy boost of vitamin C, too.
Vitamin D. Egg yolks, mushrooms, and most fish are excellent sources of the vitamin D you need to absorb calcium, which builds and maintains healthy teeth.
Vitamin C. Red peppers and sweet potatoes can provide the vitamin C necessary for healthy gums, which help keep your teeth firmly in place. Citrus fruits like oranges are also high in vitamin C, but you have to be careful of their acidity.
A healthy crunch. The crisp texture of crunchy fruits and vegetables can help wipe away plaque-causing bacteria on your teeth. They can also increase the production of saliva, which helps neutralize bacteria in your mouth. Apples, pears, celery, and carrots are all good choices. However, even a healthy food like an apple can expose teeth to damaging acid when eaten slowly. To reduce the impact of acid, brush your teeth before eating and drink water or rinse immediately after.
For this new year, make a resolution to treat your mouth right by improving your diet and your oral hygiene habits. Your mouth and your body will thank you for it. Happy New Year!