February is American Heart Month and the month of love. Did you know there’s a connection between your heart and oral health? If you plan on stuffing yourself with a ton of sweets, you should be careful! Your teeth need love as well, don’t forget about them.
Yes, it’s true, gum disease increases your risk for heart disease. Lack of care for your teeth and gums can lead to gum disease. If it’s not treated, plaque and bacteria can make its way to your bloodstream and travel through your body to your heart which can lead to blood clots or possibly heart attacks.
Tips For Healthy Living
Going out on date night this Valentine’s day? Even if you’re not, use these tips for whenever you go out and eat.
- Keep some floss in your bag or pocket. The quicker you get rid of the food particles and bacteria the better! (But don’t floss at the table!) Also, water is the best drink for your teeth, it rinses away acids from your teeth. Pro Tip: order water with your meals.
- If you have to choose between Milk or Dark chocolate, dark chocolate is better for your teeth! It contains less sugar than milk chocolate and can help with preventing cavities and tooth decay. Chocolates that have a chewy sugary center cling to your teeth. It’s best to limit to a couple rather than the whole box.
- Gummy candy, you want to try to avoid them! They are the worst candy for your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth set off a chemical reaction that turns the sugar into an acidic form that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. This is known as demineralization. Also, gummy candy sticks to your teeth. When you think about saliva you might get grossed out but when it comes to your mouth, it’s a good thing. It neutralizes acids that come from sugars and protects your teeth.
Xylitol is a great alternative to gummy candy. Xylitol is a sugar replacement that bacteria doesn’t recognize or turn the sugar into acid. Save your teeth from an attack and read the ingredients!
It’s always a good time for sweets! – WRONG. For some of us, we can’t say no to candy. Eat them after a meal to limit the exposure of sugar and bacteria! Be sure to wash them down with water.
Love Your Teeth
- Brush twice daily
- Floss daily
- Schedule bi-annual teeth cleanings
Those are the basics! Here are a few changes that might benefit you:
- New toothbrush – your toothbrush should get replaced every 3 months and after a sickness. Use soft bristles, don’t be rough with your gums and teeth.
- New floss? There a bunch of floss out there, don’t be afraid to try something new! Or if you are new to flossing try something and fall in love with how it makes your mouth feel!
- Toothpaste – Are you loyal to a certain brand? If you can never settle on a certain brand, look for one with an ADA seal! They help remove the plaque from your teeth and protect them from decay and gum disease.
- Time – sleep in too long or too tired at night to brush your teeth? It’s recommended to brush your teeth for two minutes. Make this change, your mouth and dentist will love you for it! Use a timer while brushing or play your favorite song! It’ll make the time fly
Are you wondering if this check-list applies to you if you have dental implants? The answer is: YES, they feel and function like your natural teeth. Which means there shouldn’t be a change in your dental routine.
Treat your heart how it deserves to be treated! Limit your sugar intake, walk or take the stairs, and take care of your teeth and gums.
Dr. Dhariwal, DDS
2370 Maritime Dr.
Elk Grove, CA 95758