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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Resolving to get healthy? Start with your mouth - Dec. 29, 2011

As we inch closer to 2012, more of us are making New Year's resolutions.  One of the most popular is get fit and lose weight, that's why it's always on the list of Top 5 New Year's Resolutions.  Many fitness clubs offer discounts after the first of the year to attract those overweight people determined that this will be the year they get into shape.  In fact, January is their busiest month for signing up new members.  But by mid-February, motivation has dwindled and people get lazy.  Research shows 60% of gym memberships go unused.

But getting healthy doesn't just mean cardio exercises and weight lifting.  One simple thing you can do is to commit to better oral hygiene. 

More than 75% of adults have some form of peridontal disease, also called gum disease.  And most don't even realize how serious that can be.  They know it can cause bad breath and lead to cavities and even tooth loss.  And while all those are bad, they won't kill you.  Heart disease can though.  Research from the American Academy of Periodontology shows people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.  And one study found that the presence of gum disease, cavities, and missing teeth, were as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.

Here are simple changes you can make now to get your teeth cleaner and make your body healthier in 2012.

When brushing:

  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle
  • Move in small circles
  • Count to 5 on each tooth before moving to the next one

When flossing:

  • Floss at least once a day
  • Make a "C" shape with the floss and move it up and down along the tooth and below the gum line
  • Use a floride mouth rinse

And keep those teeth clean by resolving to see your dentist twice a year for professionals cleanings.  Preventing dental problems is a lot more affordable than fixing them. 

Have a Happy New Year!!

 

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