Having overindulged on all those sweet treats and drinks over the festive period, the start of the new year brings with it new year resolutions to now focus on creating a healthy lifestyle. Here’s some tips to help start and maintain that healthy you with your healthy smile.
Drink plenty of water
About 70 % of the human body is comprised of water. Keeping hydrated has a huge impact on our overall health as our cells and organs require water to function properly. Some of the benefits of good hydration are that it helps with brain function and mood levels, and may prevent and treat headaches. Drinking plenty of water also aids digestion and removal of toxins, as well as maintaining good skin condition. It is recommended we drink about 2-3 litres of water a day.
Eat a healthy balanced diet
A balanced diet is a way of eating all of the right nutrients that our body needs in order to be healthy. Everyone’s bodies are different and often individuals require a different amount and type of nutrients. Vitamins and minerals in the diet are vital to boost immunity and healthy development, A healthy diet can protect the human body against certain types of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, bone conditions and some types of cancer. It is recommended vegetables and fruit makes up just over a third of our daily diet. The rest should be made up of proteins ( such as pulses, eggs, fish, poultry, meat, low fat milk and yoghurt) and carbohydrates (such as wholemeal/wholegrain rice, pasta, breads) along with small amounts of unsaturated fats.
Limit the amount of sugary & acidic foods & drinks
Sugar produces acids that causes tooth decay as well as causing obesity which can lead to other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Consuming sugar more frequently means your teeth are exposed to the plaque acids for longer putting them at a higher risk of tooth decay. If having chocolates, try to go for dark chocolate with high cocoa content as it can be less damaging to teeth. Diet sugar drinks may help to avoid the decay factor but they erode enamel tooth surface, causing tooth wear.
Reduce alcohol consumption
Too much alcohol can increase the chances of getting heart disease, liver cirrhosis and cancers including mouth cancer. Statistics suggest oral cancer diagnosis is six times higher in those who drink than non-drinkers. Acute alcohol consumption can also cause reduced saliva flow. Saliva is our natural defence to diseases such as tooth decay. Alcoholic drinks also tend to contain more sugar and are more acidic, which can lead to tooth decay and tooth wear.
Avoid tobacco use
Smoking can cause many of the same diseases as alcohol but also many more. Smoking and drinking combined increases risks to diseases. Smoking or chewing tobacco, alone is responsible for 80-90% of oral cancer cases. Smoking can also cause gums disease, bad breath, discoloured teeth and plaque build up.
Whatever your age, scientific evidence shows that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life. People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. It’s good to be active daily, and it’s recommended to do at least 2 and half hours of exercise a week. This can range from walking, cycling or more intense exercise and sports.
Keep your teeth clean
Our mouth is the gateway to our body. Healthy teeth and gums allow us to chew our food effectively thereby providing our body with the nutrients required for it to function properly. A healthy smile gives us confidence to meet and talk to people.
Our mouth contains plaque bacteria. Plaque is a major cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Recent research studies show gum disease can put us at a higher risk to general health problems such as heart disease. One theory is that gum disease allows the bacteria that inhabit our mouth to enter the bloodstream and circulate around the body allowing them to settle in the heart blood vessels. Research has also shown some links between gum disease and stroke, respiratory disease, head and neck cancer, kidney disease and diabetes.
Cleaning teeth effectively twice a day helps keep plaque bacterial levels low in the mouth. Brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes using a fluoride toothpaste and spit out after instead of rinsing. Clean in between your teeth using floss or interdental brushes or another suitable product. Don’t forget to gently brush your tongue. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months. Everyone’s mouth is different and certain products will be more suitable for certain people. At dentael we provide bespoke patient advice on what products are specifically suitable for your mouth.
Visit your dentist regularly for a dental check up & professional cleaning
A dental check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems you may not be aware of, such as tooth decay, gum disease, tooth wear or ulcers. Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether. Even when cleaning your teeth twice daily, plaque and tartar will build up in hard to reach places. Your mouth, teeth and gums are examined, the findings discussed and oral health advice given. This along with a professional cleaning to remove plaque, tartar and stains, helps to keep your mouth healthy and maintain your smile.
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