“Wellness” is a bit of a buzzword these days, and the exact definition can be a little nebulous. For us, wellness is about physical and mental health, and the relationship between the two, including taking care of healthy teeth and gums.
A smile is a great example of this symbiotic relationship. In this article, we’ll explain the relationship between wellness and your smile, and offer up some tweaks you can implement to make the most of that connection.
Staying hydrated is an important aspect of wellness no matter which way you look at it. Being dehydrated can decrease your energy levels and your ability to focus. But when it comes to your oral health, keeping hydrated helps your body fight off issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
Unless you’re confronted with an embarrassing drool after a nap, you probably don’t give your saliva a second thought. But your saliva is a major player in your overall oral health. Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria from your smile before they can wear away your enamel, which can cause decay over time.
Hydration can also help with bad breath, which can be caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. If you stay up on your water consumption, you can wash away some of the bacteria and decrease your chances of bad breath. There’s nothing more socially draining than worrying about your breath, so take comfort that the big swig of water you’re taking throughout dinner may take care of the problem.
You probably already know that nutrition and wellness go hand in hand. Good nutrition can give you more energy, boost your immune system and help keep diseases at bay. Nutrition can also help your mouth defend itself against tooth decay and gum disease.
Whole, plant foods can aid you in your quest to have a brighter, healthier smile. These foods have high fibre content, which requires a fair bit of chewing. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps keep your mouth clean and fight against cavities.
Some plant foods can even help to prevent stains from forming on your smile. Foods like strawberries, papaya, celery, and watermelon can break down surface stains and help keep new ones from forming.
Including as many whole plant foods in your diet as possible—and staying away from processed foods and foods with a high amount of artificial sugar—will help both your overall and oral health over time.
Stress can affect pretty much every facet of your health, and that’s especially true for people with bruxism. Bruxism is the chronic grinding and clenching of the jaws. The most insidious aspect of bruxism (besides the gradual damage it can do to your teeth), is that many people don’t even know they have it because they do it while they’re sleeping.
If you have bruxism, you can purchase a night guard from your family dental clinic or a reputable online retailer. However, it may also be worth making a concerted effort to destress. Ridding our lives of stress is an ongoing part of any adult’s life. It’s not as though you’ll hit a magic button and miraculously never feel stress again, but there are some small tweaks you can make to help yourself experience relief over time.
Walking, journaling and conversations with friends are great additions to any day and may help you keep stress at bay. You don’t have to change everything right away, but by gradually making adjustments to your lifestyle and the way you respond to stressful situations, you may be able to help avoid some of the negative effects stress can have on your body.
Everyone has their own unique goal for their smile. Some may simply wish to keep their smile clean and bright through diligent oral hygiene. Others may be interested in more considerable smile updates, like aligning their smile with orthodontic treatment like clear aligners or braces. Having your dream smile (no matter what your personal definition of that is), can do powerful things to your confidence and overall well-being.
Feeling good about yourself can change the way that you carry yourself through the world. If you believe in the power of positive thinking, confidence can be the lived embodiment of it. Feeling good can positively affect your career, your decision-making, and even your relationships.
The way you care for your smile can affect your overall health and wellness, but the reverse is also true. By learning to care for your overall health, your oral health can improve too. With these tips, we hope that you can make some lifestyle tweaks that lead to you having a smile you’re proud of.