Better teeth means better health. Keeping your teeth healthy and your smile bright encompasses more than just brushing and flossing. Here are a few habits to adopt this year to improve your oral health and overall well being.
Limit the sugar
Sweets, sodas and sugar in general contribute to bacterial growth and an acidic environment in the mouth, which harms enamel. Refined white flours are just as bad, since starches convert to sugars and they stick to the teeth. Too much sugar and refined foods not only affect dental health but can lead to high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown that an unstable blood sugar level provides an environment for gum disease to develop. If blood glucose levels are high, bacteria in the mouth can grow and reproduce and eventually lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is caused by bacterial invasion of the gum tissue, but leads to chronic inflammation and bleeding of the gums.
Staying active and getting regular exercise is good for more than just weight loss. Regular exercise keeps your cardiovascular system strong, helps promote good sleep, and boosts your mood. While exercising, be sure to stay away from the sports drinks and energy drinks. These beverages are laden down with sugar which makes your mouth a party zone for bacteria.
Additionally, when participating in vigorous exercise, breathing through your mouth could be creating a dry oral environment and without saliva, acid on your teeth cannot be neutralized. It is possible to breathe mostly through your nose while jogging, cycling, lifting, or doing other high-intensity activities.
Drink More Water
You may have probably heard the phrase “drink 8 glasses of water per day” a thousand times. While the amount of water you need is dependent on a number of factors, the important thing still remains that you need to consume it. For good oral and overall health, plain water is, and will always be, the best way to hydrate your body. Fresh juices and energy drinks can provide valuable nutrients, but they are also full of sugar. Flavoured sparkling waters may not have sugars, but they typically contain ascorbic acid, which is harmful to your enamel. No one suggests you need to give up your morning coffee or evening glass of wine, but making water your first-choice beverage will go a long way toward maintaining good health.
Cut out the addictive stuff
Whether it’s junk food, binging on TV and movies, or sitting in front of the computer for hours on end—we all have bad habits we enjoy too much to give up entirely. We know they are not good for us, but we enjoy them too much to stop them outright. While it might be hard or even impossible to cut some of these things entirely out of our lives, reducing the frequency with which we engage in these activities is a step in the right direction.
- For years, the link between smoking and cancer has been publicized and emphasized. Tobacco is known to lead to various types of cancer and tooth decay and tobacco and alcohol both increase your chances of developing gum disease.
- When you’ve been sitting in front of the computer or TV for hours on end, you’re more likely to reach for the junk food or sugary snacks to keep your hands busy. These foods are full of sugar which leads to excessive mouth bacteria and just bad oral health.
- Excessively playing video games usually encourages compulsive behaviors such as drinking, smoking, teeth grinding, and chewing on non-food items. None of these behaviors are good for the body or the teeth and gums.
Regular visits to Quince Orchard Dental Care can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.” At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that you cannot have good oral health without good overall health. Take some time to do some introspection and make a conscious effort to change habits that may be affecting your health.