A healthy mouth is the first line of defense against diseases entering the body, one of the many reasons it is important to maintain good oral practices. Read on for a weekly guide to getting your hygienic tendencies on track, and you'll be smiling again in no time.
Week 1: Eat Breakfast
It's often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and not without reason: not only can a morning meal jumpstart the metabolism for the day to come, but it can also play a crucial role in maintaining good oral health. If a regular routine of brushing teeth has become more sporadic than it should, eating breakfast can help establish regularity, as brushing seems more urgent and practical for cleaning teeth after meals. Several healthy and delicious breakfast options are available, so it is easy to pick a favorite for an early treat.
Week 2: Add Spinach
A leafy green vegetable that packs an incredibly nutritious punch, spinach can do wonders toward overall oral health, as it contains high concentrations of B vitamins which can increase gum health. In addition, spinach is notorious for getting caught between the teeth, so eating it on a regular basis can help enforce the need for flossing every day until it becomes a habit of its own. Fold it into salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries for a quick dose of its benefits, or add it to an omelette to complement your new breakfast routine.
Week 3: Go to Bed Early
Sleep may not seem to have much to do with oral health, but getting enough of it can eliminate the need for certain oral irritants - namely, caffeine. Coffee and tea are saturated with the substance, and though drinking these beverages is an easy way to stimulate wakefulness throughout the day, those armed with the recommended six to eight hours of rest can put them aside and reap the benefits.
Week 4: Quit Smoking
Smoking is an addiction, and for many, it can seem near impossible to give it up. Whether the goal is oral or overall health, however, it is the last and important step toward achieving success. This habit causes odor, gum diseases such as gingivitis and oral thrush, and even mouth cancer, among other things. It's therefore vital to talk to a doctor or another healthcare professional to take the steps that help make quitting a reality that sticks.
By following the guidelines above and maintaining generally healthy lifestyle choices, like eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, thirty days will be all you need to set up lifelong habits for the better. Get started today, and watch the days fly by toward teeth and gums of which your dentist will be proud.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. (n.d.). Dietary Supplement fact sheet - Folate. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Oral health fact sheet. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/oral-health.html
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Smoking Health Effects. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://smokefree.gov/health-effects