Do you realize that every culture recognizes a smile as a sign of happiness and acceptance, making it a more universal way of saying hello than a handshake or a bow? Smiling also helps us feel good. When we smile, we release our “feel-good” hormones – our endorphins – which reduce stress and boost our immune system, helping us fight that common cold!
But, does it make a difference if our smile is a HEALTHY smile? YES, IT DOES!
A healthy smile keeps us looking younger. And studies show that people who have good oral health – and the smile to show for it – are more confident and have a higher sense of self-worth. Just that alone brings a lot of benefits!
However, maybe most importantly, a healthy smile and good oral health impact our overall health. The Academy of General Dentistry reports that our oral health can impact our risk for heart disease and stroke. The bacteria that form in our mouths from gum disease impact our internal organs and are tied to diabetes, kidney disease, and oral cancer. Women with poor oral health are at risk of having pre-term and low-birth-weight babies.
There are some ways we can help keep our smile healthy:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day!
- Frequent flossing helps remove plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line, where a toothbrush can’t reach. If plaque accumulates, it can cause periodontal disease, leading to bone destruction and tooth loss!
– Hint: If you don’t like flossing, try using an oral irrigator, which may actually be more effective!
- Switch out your acidic and sugary drinks for water!
- Keep up on your routine cleanings and get any needed dental treatments done as soon as possible before decay can spread and cause infections and inflammation in other areas of your body!
- Try “oil pulling” with coconut oil – this is an ancient Indian folk remedy where you put 1 tablespoon of the oil in your mouth and swish it around like a mouthwash for 15 – 20 minutes. The bacteria in your mouth get stuck in the oil, helping you remove a lot of the plaque!
As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The efforts we take to care for our oral health can help reduce our chances of developing medical conditions and keep our smile ready to greet everyone we meet!
A final tip: A quality toothbrush will help support all of your efforts. Electric toothbrushes are clinically proven to remove more plaque and keep gums healthier than a standard toothbrush. One of our forum prize options for this month’s sweepstakes is a Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Bonus Pack! You can enter by simply answering the activities in our forums! Join OnTheWall today!
Tell us what you think! Have you tried any of these ways to keep your smile healthy? Do you have any other tips for how to keep our mouths healthy? Please share them with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.