The Habits of Health Transformational System is a comprehensive path to optimal wellbeing. It’s not just about movement. It’s not just about food. It’s about seeing the connection between all of your daily choices and the life those choices can create.
That often means addressing Habits of Health that can easily be overlooked, such as dental health.
Here’s the challenge: You know you should brush your teeth. You know you should floss. You’ve been hearing this since you were a child, so my telling you that now can feel silly, especially since you’re probably brushing everyday already and flossing when you remember to.
You know the basics, yes, but let’s reframe oral hygiene to highlight the rewards of this Habit of Health because the benefits go far beyond preventing cavities and stopping bad breath. In reality, the health of your teeth and gums are gateways to major systems in your body, directly influencing your overall longevity.
With great oral hygiene habits, you can:
- Protect your heart. Oral hygiene has been tied to a variety of heart conditions and inflammation as germs from your mouth enter your bloodstream, causing conditions like endocarditis.
- Protect your lungs. Just as germs can enter the bloodstream to affect your heart, they can also affect your lungs, making you more susceptible to diseases like pneumonia.
- Protect your brain. While the link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral health isn’t yet fully understood, the correlation is too great to ignore. With worsening oral health associated with Alzheimer’s, some experts conclude that the plaque and bacteria in your mouth can contribute to Alzheimer’s.
On the other end of this dynamic are diseases that are likely to impact your oral hygiene. For example, Type 2 Diabetes is often associated with obesity, and diabetes has been found to make your body less resilient to infection overall, which includes gum disease. Osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones, can often be prevented with Habits of Healthy Motion and Habits of Healthy Fuelings, which means these habits also protect your teeth.
These are all big opportunities to make your life more vibrant, especially in the long-term.
Dr. A’s Habits of Health has more on what you can do for your dental health, but these are the highpoints:]
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss each day.
- Follow up with mouthwash.
- Eliminate tobacco use of any kind.
- Lower the amount of sugar you eat or drink (water instead of soda, healthy fuelings instead of sugary snacks)
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
These are simple Habits of Health, but they can easily start to slip into Habits of Disease if you aren’t mindful. Hopefully this reminder helped bring their importance back into focus for you!