It’s a new year, which means it’s time to put your best foot forward with health and wellness. While the mouth often goes overlooked in favor of weight loss and general dietary needs, oral care is an equally important aspect of general wellbeing. And, much like with any treatment, a holistic approach ensures long-lasting solutions that won’t harm your body in the future.
Resolutions often fail because the process to achieve them isn’t well thought through. To combat potential shortfalls, focus on how you plan to achieve your goals – in this case, the natural steps to take for a sparkling smile.
4 New Years Resolutions for a Healthy, Natural Smile
1. Quit smoking Ditching cigarettes is a universal resolution for many smokers each year. Reformed tobacco users are pleased with the decision to better their lung health. However, quitting smoking has benefits in addition to restored lungs, including a healthier palette. While not as widely discussed as lung cancer, smoking often causes diseases and lesions of the mouth and throat. Cigarettes are a factor in tooth staining, decay, coated tongue, oral thrush, bad breath and smoker’s palate. Most cases of oral cancer are attributed to smoking and tobacco use. Oral cancer occurs on the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums and roof of mouth. By cutting out tobacco, you significantly lessen your risk of mouth cancer and related disorders – preventing any chemical treatments needed later in life.
2. Limit acidic beverages Coffee, red wine and brown sodas lead to yellow or stained smiles. To keep teeth bright, opt for light-colored beverages. Aside from cosmetic effects, consuming acidic drinks can cause acid erosion on tooth enamel. The most common complaint following dental erosion is painful sensitivity. After tooth enamel wears down, interactions with everyday elements, such as cold air, can cause immense pain. Consider drinking acidic beverages through a straw to prevent discomfort without completely omitting sodas and juices from a diet. Straws prevent liquids from coming in direct contact with teeth, which could otherwise cause significant damage over time. Not to mention, sodas (including diet alternatives) are loaded with artificial ingredients that are detrimental to a wholesome lifestyle.
3. Develop an organic routine Many individuals tend to take the easy route for their at-home dental care routine. Fluoride toothpastes, bleaching agents and alcohol rinses might be the norm, but not necessarily the best option. Maintaining good oral hygiene rids the body of harmful bacteria that can cause ailments throughout the body. However, those who attempt to keep a healthy palette through the use of chemicals might be doing more harm than good. Try creating your own do-it-yourself (DIY) toothpaste, or consider rinsing with a water and hydrogen peroxide solution. If you’re not DIY savvy, many health food stores offer organic brands with recognizable ingredients. Once you have settled on an all-natural product, use it regularly. According to National Smile Month, 25 percent of adults do not brush more than once per day. Bacteria and germs fester in the mouth overnight and can wreak havoc on gum tissue. While cavities develop from a lack of daily cleanings, gingivitis poses more serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Once plaque builds up to the point of gingivitis, progression can lead to bacterial breakdown of bone in the mouth.
4. Review your dental history Amalgam fillings were once extremely common in dentistry. Made up of 50 percent mercury, these fillings are now widely recognized as dangerous due to the fact that they consistently release toxic mercury into the host’s body after implantation. A holistic dentist recognizes the importance of removing these fillings before they wreak greater havoc and potentially lead to internal complications. Although the United States’ Federal Drug Administration and National Institute of Health haven’t confirmed nor denied the necessity of removal quite yet, a 1997 Swedish study reported 78 percent of patients who suffered from neurological issues and had their amalgams removed claimed improvements in their condition(s)*. Taking care of gums and teeth at home using natural strategies is an imperative element of human vitality. Be cognizant of all ingredients in your healthcare routine, and of course, eliminate foods and substances proven to hurt your mouth and internal organs.
*Live Better, Live Longer: The New Studies That Reveals What’s Really Good – and Bad – for Your Health by Dr. Sanjiv Chopra and Dr. Alan Lotvin. P 394.
(Image Source: Rob Holdridge, DMD & Associates)
Author: Sarah Walden of Assure a Smile – a Miami Dentistry