There is no better way to keep the body healthy as making oral health a top priority, keeping the mind, body and mouth healthy, and for making commitments to improve healthy habits as a family. Selecting healthy choices as a family is a great way to motivate each other, be more active, stay on track, make and keep commitments, impact long-term health of younger family members and enjoy better health together.
The mouth is not disconnected from our body, and they affect each other physically and psychologically; influencing how we look, speak, chew, taste food and enjoy life. Studies have shown that poor oral health is linked to major health issues like cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections and diabetic complications.
To reduce the effects of poor oral health on your general health, there are several easy steps that you and your family can do proactively today. These quick habits adopted as a family, can improve well-being, as well as influence your family to enjoy a life with a healthy smile.
How to Get Healthy as a Family
- Dietary Choices – Refrain from consuming sugary soft drinks and juices, add more fresh green and yellow fruits and vegetables to your diet that are high in vitamins A, C and E as well as whole grain products. Eat meals together and take time to disconnect. Moreover, limit consumption of overly sugary, starchy and acidic foods that can promote tooth decay.
- Brush at least 2X a day– It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time. Make brushing as a family fun by turning on music, using a brush timer and even dancing or moving around to make sure you brush for long enough. Tip: don’t forget to change your toothbrush every 3 months.
- Pick your favorite products – Go shopping as a family to stock up on mouth wash, floss and toothpastes that prevent cavities. You can also talk to your dentist about fluoride sealants on your next visit to help prevent cavities from developing.
- Rinse and chew– Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can protect your teeth and gums by increasing salivary flow that washes the bacteria away and naturalizes acid. Sugar-free gum is available in a variety of flavors that adults and kids love. Moreover, mouthwash is a quick fix to rinse particles out of the mouth and freshen breath.
- Dental Visit – It is recommended that you have a dental checkup and cleaning every 6 months. Make dental visits as a family to encourage the everyone to look at this as a fun outing rather than a duty. Moreover, if you have dental benefits, your insurance plan likely might cover visits for family members on your plan, if you don’t use your benefits you lose them!
- Flossing – Don’t forget to floss, despite any negative attention the act has received in the past years. Flossing is effective at cleaning between teeth, around teeth and under the gums, and reduces plaque buildup which leads to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. Flossing cleans the gaps between your teeth where particles accumulate, since brushing alone doesn’t necessarily clean every nook and cranny.
Last but not least, keep in mind that healthy smiles run in the family! Taking care of your health together benefits everyone, reinforces healthy habits for older family members and teaches younger ones the value of good health. We see patients as young as 6 months at our 55 offices, and offer convenient afternoon, evening and Saturday appointments to fit into busy schedules.