The start of a new year is a great time to incorporate healthy new habits into your routine…hello new year’s resolutions! This year, we want to encourage you to take a holistic approach to your oral health. Yes, we still would love if you started flossing every day, but we also want you to think bigger. That means going beyond the toothbrush and thinking about how your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. From your mind to your stomach, how you treat yourself impacts the health of your teeth and mouth. Chances are, you’ve heard Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos talk about this oral health care philosophy before, or read about holistic oral health care on our blog. But it is a message worth repeating! We thought it would be useful to share 3 tips to help you begin practicing more holistic oral health care in 2021.
More and more, we see signs of stress are showing up in dental exams. Not only does stress increase the likelihood of clenching or grinding teeth, but it can also cause dry mouth, a neglect of oral hygiene, and decreased immune function. While we can help address the symptoms that arise with these issues, it is just as important to think about the root cause and find ways to lower your stress levels. One of the most effective ways to reduce stress is to meditate. Meditation not only helps reduce stress, but it also improves your oral health by boosting your immune system, reducing chronic inflammation, and increasing saliva production. There are loads of resources out there to help you get started and please feel free to ask our team of compassionate care providers to recommend an app or breathing technique at your next appointment. We are here to support you! So breathe in…and breathe out for a healthier mind and a healthier mouth.
2. Eat Your Greens
Perhaps eating more vegetables was already on your list of new year’s resolutions, which is great! Eating a healthy diet is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mouth too. In particular, leafy greens like kale and spinach pack a real punch! These superfoods are full of calcium which support teeth enamel, and folic acid which may help treat periodontal disease. We love to recipe share, and there are plenty of tasty options like blueberry-spinach smoothies and kale pesto that will make incorporating more greens into your diet a cinch!
3. Turn to Tea
Fancy a cup of tea? Go for the green! Dating back some 4,000 years as a popular and medicinal beverage enjoyed in China and Japan, recent studies have shown that green tea protects against cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. The tasty beverage is full of antioxidants and compounds called polyphenols, which help reduce bacteria and promote the health of gums. Studies have also shown a decreased risk of oral cancer in green-tea drinkers, another important reason to incorporate a cup into your day. It’s important to remember that sweeteners can still erode your teeth, so for the best health benefits skip the sugar and honey.
While these tips are a great way to more holistically support your oral health, they are no replacement for the tried-and-true routine of brushing twice-a-day, flossing daily, and coming to see us for regular check ups. If you have questions about how you can incorporate more holistic health habits into your oral health care routine, please let us know! We are your partner in your oral health care and want to support you. Call our office at 207.781.5900.