Sunday, June 17, 2012

How Healthy Teeth Leads to a Healthy Body

As children, you were told countless times to brush our teeth at least twice daily. You were probably also advised to floss and be careful about eating too many sweets. The reasons for this seem obvious enough -keep your teeth clean and reduce the likelihood of cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. It turns out that there are even more important reasons to keep our teeth healthy.

Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. This isn't only true for food and beverages, it's also true for germs, bacteria and infections. Problems that start off in the mouth can spread to other areas of your body. Recent research indicates that people with periodontal (gum) disease are more likely to have heart problems, strokes and diabetes than people with healthy gums.

There are enough reasons to keep your teeth and gums healthy even without this knowledge. No one wants to go through the agony of a toothache, or have their teeth fall out because of decay. Teeth whitening products are a huge industry, and people scrub their teeth with all sorts of products to look more like their favorite Hollywood celebrities.

Yet until recently, people have tended to see their teeth as tools meant for chewing, or perhaps as something cosmetic to improve their appearance. Now, however, we know that your teeth and gums are essential for your overall health. This should give you additional motivation to take good care of them!

Keeping your teeth and gums in good condition isn't rocket science. It's mainly based on some common sense habits, most of which you're already familiar with. However, it's easy to be careless when it comes to your teeth. Your dental health depends on how you treat your teeth day in and day out, so it's important to be consistent.

Let's look at a few simple tips to keep in mind if you want to keep your teeth -and your whole body- as healthy as possible.

*** Don't be a stranger to your dentist! Most importantly, don't wait until you have a throbbing toothache to make an appointment. You should go at least twice per year, for cleanings and check-ups. This ensures that any issues are dealt with promptly -before they became painful, complicated and expensive!

*** Brush your teeth properly and frequently. This means two or three times per day, and for at least a full minute. Also, discard your toothbrush every month or so. Old toothbrushes become collectors of bacteria, so you don't want to keep using the same one for months and months!

*** Limit sweets and junk food. For the most part, what's bad for your teeth is bad for your whole body. Soda, candy and all sweets are especially rough on your teeth.

*** Chew healthy gum. Chewing gum can be good for your teeth, but not if it's full of sugar or unhealthy artificial sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, etc.). Try gum made with xylitol or peelu.

*** Watch your intake of fluoride -recent research indicates many people overdo it when it comes to fluoride. You have to be especially careful with children -make sure they don't swallow toothpaste containing fluoride.

*** Keep your tongue clean. Get a tongue scraper -they only cost a few dollars and they will help keep your tongue free of harmful bacteria. This will give you fresher breath too!

These are just a few simple tips to safeguard your dental health, which will help keep you healthy all over!