Self-care is at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the beginning of the new year—taking care of your mental and physical health is one of the most important things you can do with your time! And it isn’t just about scented candles and face masks. It’s about taking care of your one and only body, and that includes your mouth. Dental health is often an area of self-care that’s overlooked, even though it’s very easy to take good care of.
Research shows that periodontal disease, or a serious gum infection, is much more common in men than women. So guys—this one’s for you. Anytime is a good time to exercise new healthy habits and kick the bad ones.
What Bad Habits Can Cause
Your body is smart, and it exhibits many signs when something’s wrong. Just like you use your mouth to communicate, your body uses it a lot too. Inflammation in your gums can be a sigh of several serious issues. For example, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigens) increase when the prostate is attacked by cancer, or infected. Inflammation anywhere in the body is usually linked to inflammation in your gums.
Gum disease can also seriously affect your blood flow. Although research is still being done, there are certainly connections between gum disease and blood flow issues such as heart disease and impotence, especially if you’re under 30 or over 70. Inflammation also affects your organs and nervous system, which can cause diseases like Alzheimer’s to get worse.
Make a New Routine
It’s really easy to recommit yourself to dental hygiene, and it will make a huge difference in your overall comfort and health. It’s as simple as adding a few minutes every day to your normal routine. You most likely already brush your teeth twice a day (keep it up!), but try timing yourself. Try to brush for at least two minutes to get the full benefits. Otherwise you’re just removing some food, and not all the plaque and bacteria that build up in your mouth.
Add flossing to your list! Flossing after brushing ensures that you’re getting out everything harmful, and it’s as easy as packing a toothpick or flosser in your lunch bag. Those things reach what your toothbrush can’t, so don’t underestimate it.
See your dentist twice a year! If it’s been a while and you’re feeling guilty, don’t worry! You can schedule an appointment right now.