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Winchester, VA 22601
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Start the Year Strong with 6 Easy Ways to Invest in Your Oral Health

Invest in your oral health and get powerful results!

Happy new year! Whether or not you’ve made resolutions, you can invest in your oral health in ways that are quick and easy, that can help you feel refreshed, and that can yield powerful results for your overall health. What a great way to start the year!

Invest just 10 minutes a day in this simple yet powerful practice

You’ve heard us say it before, but it bears repeating: Brush, floss, rinse!

Brush your teeth thoroughly in the morning and at night for two minutes each time to clean the surfaces your toothbrush can reach. 

Floss your teeth at least once each day to remove the tiny bits of food that can become trapped between teeth. This will help keep your gums strong and reduce your risk of gum disease. Once you establish a flossing routine, it should take no more than five minutes each time.

Oral care time 2

It’s important to remember that brushing alone cannot clean bacteria and bits of food from between your teeth, and flossing alone does not clean their surfaces. Oral bacteria can migrate to other parts of your body, where they may cause or contribute to other health issues. A study published in 2022 has most recently identified a potential link between oral bacteria and brain abscesses. This is why both brushing and flossing are important.

Finally, be sure to rinse your teeth with plain water for 20 seconds after each meal (and any snacks you might have during the day). Swish vigorously to remove tiny loose particles of food and any acid or sugar that might remain on your teeth. Rinsing this way will help reduce the risk of dental erosion and will also help to keep your breath fresh until the next time you brush.

When you invest this brief amount of time and effort each day, you’ll soon begin reaping its rewards!

Related blog post: 8 Great Reasons to Floss Every Day

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

The easiest way to hydrate yourself is also the healthiest and most economical—water! Water has no sugar, no harmful acid, and no calories. Drinking enough water reduces your risk of dry mouth (xerostomia), and helps to wash away any acid-forming substances or sugars that could lead to cavities by wearing away your tooth enamel. It also aids your digestion and wards off dizziness and nausea, which can accompany dehydration.

For many people, a total of two liters of water each day is a healthy amount (but do check with your physician to be sure it’s right for you). Drinking enough water helps to keep your breath fresh, and a new study links good hydration with healthier aging and increased longevity. It is one of the easiest ways to invest in your oral health along with your overall health!

Related blog post: Your Favorite Drinks: Superheroes or Foes?

Invest in your gut health and get a double return with improved oral health

As we’ve reported previously, there is a connection between your mouth and your gut (digestive system). Because bacteria can travel between the two, your mouth may give clues as to what’s happening in your digestive system. Three of your mouth’s indicators that your gut is healthy are:

  • Few or no cavities
  • No bad breath
  • No evidence of gum disease

Conversely, an unhealthy mouth itself can also contribute to digestive system issues. Eating excessive amounts of sugar, for example, can create harmful bacteria that may cause gut issues in addition to dental problems. Dental issues that continue and worsen may be a sign that you’re not eating enough fiber, which feeds good bacteria.

How can you break this cycle? In addition to your daily routine of flossing, brushing, and rinsing, be sure to eat healthy amounts of fiber-rich foods and fermented foods, and decrease your sugar intake to a healthy level. Keeping in mind that you may have unique or special health needs, it’s best to talk to your physician about your dietary concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask about specifics!

Invest enough time for sleep

Just as your brain, heart, and muscles need enough sleep to recharge and stay healthy, so does your mouth. In 2013, a study of over 29,000 adults revealed that those who slept less than six hours per night had an increased risk of gum inflammation. This kind of chronic inflammation can lead to gum disease and infections, which can increase your risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. 

Mouth breathing due to chronic airway issues may contribute to poor sleep quality (and in some cases, sleep apnea), which could increase your risk of inflamed gums. If you wake frequently with a dry or temporarily sore throat, it could be a sign that you are breathing through your mouth (instead of your nose) while you sleep. Signs of poor sleep quality can include daytime sleepiness, despite allowing sufficient time for sleep; headaches; problems with concentration and memory; impotency in men; and weight gain. 

There are both medical and dental solutions for sleep issues, however. If you’re experiencing problems even though you’re making an effort to invest enough hours in sleep, talk to your physician and your dentist to determine which solution is best for you.

Consider Winchester Dental’s Smile Care Club if you don’t have dental insurance

Traditional dental insurance is a wise investment for many patients, but we recognize that this option is not available for everyone. For this reason, we’re pleased to offer affordable basic coverage through our Smile Care Club program. With options for individuals and families, Smile Care Club provides routine dental care throughout the year, as well as one emergency exam per year if you need it. Anyone may purchase this coverage and no one will be denied. There are no health questions and no deductibles, and no one in the program will be dropped or targeted for rate increases. If you’re seeking an affordable coverage option, this might be just the investment for you!

Get on our calendar!

What better time is there than now to schedule your next appointment so you can plan around it? Once you’re on our calendar, you’ll receive appointment reminders. Remember that we’re here for you until 7 pm four nights each week as well as Saturdays until 2, and we’re happy to coordinate same-visit appointments for everyone in your family to save you time. Our ground-level office and parking area are easily accessible to those who use wheelchairs, and your service animal is welcome. Invest in your oral health and come see us!

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