How Your Dental Habits are Linked to a Healthy Body

How Your Dental Habits are Linked to a Healthy Body

Whether you’re looking to bulk up, slim down, or tone your muscles, your oral health can help you reach those milestones and enjoy great overall health. Today, we’ll go over some dental tips from snacks to hydration to keep your teeth and your body healthy and strong!

 

Understanding the Link Between Oral & Overall Health

First things first, it’s hard to achieve a truly healthy body (even if you’re eating right and going to the gym) if you’re having issues with your smile. Why? Because, believe it or not, your oral health has a direct correlation with your overall health. The mouth is the body’s most common entry point for infection. Bad bacteria in the mouth can actually enter beneath the gum line and get into the bloodstream. Over time, this bacteria can trigger inflammation, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and more. A great way to keep your mouth and your body in tip-top shape is to practice a proper oral hygiene routine, by brushing twice a day and flossing. We also encourage you to visit the dentist every six months for a routine cleaning and checkup.

 

Assess Your Snacks

Eating foods that are high in nutrition can help fuel your body while you’re at the gym or living your day-to-day life. It’s important to take a look at the snacks you like to eat, even if they’re marketed as a healthy option to ensure that they are good for your body and your teeth.

Here are some common “healthy” foods that you might want to reconsider for your gym diet:

 

  • Dried Fruit: Most people think that dried fruit is a great alternative to a sugary snack when in reality, it has the same negative effect on teeth as sticky candy does. Dried fruit can easily get stuck between teeth and the sticky consistency allows for the sugary residue to stick to your teeth long after you’re done with your snack. Try fresh fruit, instead!
  • Citrus Water: We understand that water can get boring. That’s why many people try livening up their water with lemons, limes, or oranges. The citrus makes the water taste better without the need for added sugar or preservatives. However, citrus is actually not very good for your teeth. It’s highly acidic and lowers the pH in your mouth which can cause your enamel to weaken and make you more susceptible to cavities.
  • Saltine Crackers: While they may seem like a healthy alternative to a bag of chips or cookies, saltine crackers can have a negative impact on your teeth. They are starch-heavy and turn into a thick paste as you chew. Since saliva has the ability to turn starch into sugar, by the time you’re done with your crackers, there is sugar residue lingering on your enamel.
  • Diet Soda: While diet soda does have fewer calories than regular soda. It is still acidic and can erode your enamel over time. If you drink the occasional diet soda, we encourage you to rinse out your mouth with water afterward or brush your teeth.

 

If you’re looking for some tooth-healthy snacks, we recommend celery, cheese, leafy greens, almonds, carrots, and eggs, to name a few. By incorporating these types of foods, your body and your teeth will thank you!

 

Stay Hydrated

While protein powders, pre-workout, and sports drinks all help you get the energy and endurance you need during an intense workout, it’s important to not overlook the power of water! Many shakes and sports drinks are packed with vitamin C, and while this vitamin does play an essential role in your health, excessive amounts can cause enamel erosion and tooth decay over time. These drinks, especially sports drinks, also have sugar in them that eats away at your teeth. If you’re not looking to part with your favorite workout drink, we understand! However, we suggest that you drink it through a straw so that your teeth don’t have direct contact with it. We also encourage you to drink water in between to cleanse your mouth and keep your body hydrated!

 

If you would like to learn more about how oral hygiene is linked to your health, our guest writer, Dr. John Cutting and his team at Edgewater Dental Arts, can help guide you through the science and provide helpful advice.

 

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