World Health Day
It’s World Health Day! Today is a day dedicated to helping YOU achieve your highest possible level of health. Health and wellness is systemic in our bodies. Nothing operates independently, so it’s important that we make every effort to keep every part of our bodies as healthy as possible. Did you know that more than 90% of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations? We’ve compiled a list of 15 tips to keep your mouth and body healthy. Maybe not every step is something you can take on right now, but pick a few to get you started and add on a couple more over time. We’re aiming for progress, not perfection.
15 Easy Tips for a Healthy Mouth & Body
You can do it!:
1. Brush or rinse after eating these foods and beverages that stain teeth: coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, dark sodas, cranberry juice, soy sauce and beets. Wait one hour to brush your teeth after consuming highly acidic food or drinks, like wine, coffee, citrus fruits, and soft drinks. Otherwise, you run the risk of wearing away the enamel on your teeth.
2. Limit sugary drinks, gum and candies. Sugar lowers the pH(acidity) level in the mouth and the bacteria that cause tooth decay thrive in that environment. Even dried fruit, eaten as a healthy snack, is full of fructose, which is sugar.
3. Drink sugary beverages through a straw.
4. Chew sugarless gum that contains xylitol after meals and snacks. This will help cleanse your mouth and prevent the bacteria associated with cavities from attaching to your teeth. Even better, gum will increase your saliva production and reduce bad breath!
5. Don’t smoke. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have oral cancer, bad breath, tooth loss, recessed gums and facial wrinkling. And smoking is also a major cause of tooth discoloration.
6. Replace carbonated beverages, which cause enamel erosion and cavities, with water, milk, tea, or coffee.
7. Lose weight. One of the surprising benefits of losing excess pounds and getting more exercise in 2018 may be healthier teeth and gums. According the American Academy of Peridontology, research has found that subjects who maintained a healthy body weight and high levels of physical fitness had a lower incidence of severe periodontitis (gum disease).
8. Don’t bite down on hard foods, like bones, rock-solid bagels or hard candies. Never use your teeth to crack hard nuts or to chew on ice cubes. Remember that teeth are for eating (and smiling) — not for chewing on pencils, opening packages or lifting off bottle caps.
9. Don’t grind teeth. It’s hard not to feel stress these days. During sleep, regular grinding, clenching or gnashing theupper and lower teeth can wear down teeth and also harm gums, bone and the jaw. A custom-made hard plastic night guard, fitted by your dentist and worn at night, will act as a protective device, taking pressure off teeth and keeping enamel from breaking down.
10. Tooth trauma is a constant danger during contact sports and many recreational activities. The very real potential for tooth injury is almost always present, from basketball, racquetball, roller and ice skating to volleyball, football, baseball, roller blading and bicycling. By absorbing much of the
force of contact, mouth guards offer essential protection during all these activities. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouth guard.
11. Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of tooth injuries. To protect teeth from being fractured, chipped, broken – or lost, always wear seatbelts in cars – and especially
in the rear seats of taxis, where hitting the partition during an accident or even a sudden stop can cause disfiguring facial damage.
12. Brushing the tongue with a toothbrush, tongue brush or tongue scraper, eliminates many of the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Plaque and food debris allowed to stagnate on the back of the tongue are the leading cause of halitosis. Removing them with a toothbrush or tongue brush is more effective than most mouthwashes in preventing bad breath.
13. Floss every day. It’s the single most important factor in preventing gum disease, which affects more than 50% of adults. Spend two to three minutes flossing at least once a day.
14. Brush your teeth for at least two to three minutes twice daily.
15. Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head (if you’re using an electric toothbrush) before the bristles become splayed and frayed, or every three to four months.