Raise your hand if you regularly brush and floss your teeth. Most of us established good dental hygiene habits when we were very young. Not only does this practice help to prevent bad breath and keep our teeth and gums healthy as we age, it also helps us maintain a positive self-image.
Is there a link between oral health and sugar consumption?
Did you know that there are two more things you can do to protect your teeth other than brushing and flossing? One has to do with sugar and the other has to do with fruits and vegetables.
Let’s pour on the sugar first…
You’ve heard me say many times that sugar is sweet but not so sweet for your health. If you need yet another reason to reduce your sugar intake, this is it! Sugar can have a devastating effect on tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities. You’re probably thinking, “That’s right! My dentist was always telling us kids that candy could lead to tooth decay.” Well, that’s good advice for adults, too!
Here’s what happens: A group of harmful bacteria produce acid in your mouth when they come in contact with sugar, and those acids weaken tooth enamel, increasing your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Reducing your consumption of candy, cookies, cakes and pies will not only protect your teeth, but will also improve your overall health and well-being.
The issue with soda poses a bigger problem because you tend to sip it for an extended period of time. One bottle of soda promises a relentless attack on your oral health. Each sip starts a new strike on your tooth enamel.
Does this information mean you can’t enjoy a chocolate cupcake at a birthday celebration or cherry pie à la mode during the holidays? Absolutely not! What it does mean is that you must be mindful of your sugar intake. After an occasional sweet treat, I like to swoosh with water and am particularly meticulous with my brushing and flossing that day.
Now get out your “natural toothbrushes”…
Pat yourself on the back if you’re eating your fruits and veggies. Fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables can support oral health by freshening your breath, cleaning the plaque from your teeth, and protecting your gums. How? Raw fruits and vegetables massage the gums and can increase salivation, which decreases acidity in the mouth. The natural sugars in apples, for example, help neutralize the harmful acids in your mouth. However, since fruits contain sugar, I would still swoosh with water right after munching their goodness. Also, fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and other nutrients that can help protect the gums. “Natural toothbrushes” include apples, celery, cucumbers, carrots and more.
Feel more confident when you smile!
While great for dental health, eating your veggies is not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. Prevention is key. Daily dental hygiene, regular dental appointments, and a healthy diet contribute to oral health.
Practicing good oral hygiene impacts your overall well-being. Studies show that those who develop gum disease caused by poor dental habits are at higher risk for heart disease, respiratory issues, dementia, and other health concerns. Now you have more reasons to make lifestyle changes that protect your oral health.
Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Today, set a loving intention to employ other ways to improve your oral health, besides regular brushing and flossing.
• Begin by reducing your sugar consumption and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables.
• How will improving your dental hygiene support your self-image and overall health and well-being?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.
Need help devising a wellness plan that includes oral health?
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In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,
T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Certified Holistic Health Coach
When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.