Though we may all hope for and dream of a fountain of youth, we know deep down that such a reality is not out there. So, though we might not be able to look like we’re in our 20s for our entire lives, there are things that we can do to help ourselves look younger and feel younger. Caring for your mouth is more important than you realize due to the mouth-body connection. Following our tips and secrets for a healthy mouth and body might help you get closer to that fountain of youth—or at least help you feel that way.

The secret to a happy life? A healthy mouth and healthy body!

Let’s face it. We need to take care of ourselves. We know we need to drink plenty of water, exercise a few times per week, eat healthily, and watch our calorie intake. But there has to be more to it, right? And the answer is yes! But many patients never think of the oral microbiome.

Yes, let’s pause for a moment. We’re sure you are wondering to yourself, “what is the oral microbiome?” And trust us, we’re not just trying to give you a vocabulary lesson. You should know that the oral microbiome consists of microbial groups occurring at different habitats in our mouth, such as our teeth, tongue, cheeks, gingiva, palates, and tonsils. So, while you should be sure to do the things we mentioned earlier, taking care of that oral microbiome is critical too. Here are a few secrets to a healthy mouth and body that we want to let you in on.

1. Take care of those gums.

We all know the importance of taking care of our teeth to have a healthy mouth, but did you know that it is just as essential to keep your gums healthy? It’s true! Periodontal disease, the most severe form of gum disease, has long been known as the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. But, unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there. Gum disease is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, pregnancy complications, and dementia. So, to protect your body, be sure to protect your gums.

2. Flossing is more important than brushing.

Now, by no means does this suggest that you should stop brushing your teeth. You must continue to brush your teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. But, never underestimate the power of flossing as it removes the harmful bacteria from hard-to-reach areas, such as between your teeth and under your gum line. So the short answer? Yes, flossing is necessary and is part of what we call oral care 101.

3. Have a small amount of cheese after your meal.

Did you say cheese, please? Yes, eating cheese at the end of a meal is good for you.  Cheese is chock full of calcium, which helps neutralize the buildup of acid inside your mouth. So, eating cheese helps protect your dental enamel and is also good for your bones. And there is a bonus here too. Many of your favorite cheeses, like aged cheddar, gouda, and parmesan, contain an amino acid called tyrosine that enables feelings of contentment and lowered stress.

4. Snoring and open-mouth breathing may be hazardous to your health.

Our bodies are designed to breathe through our noses, almost on autopilot. However, there are occasions when we might breathe through our mouths. For example, if our allergies are acting up or we have a cold, we’re likely to breathe through our mouths. But long-term mouth breathing can lead to cracked lips, cavities, crowded teeth, gum disease, and more. If you breathe through your mouth regularly, you are more likely to experience chronic fatigue, digestive issues, morning headaches, and a sore throat.

Snoring, too, can be bad for your overall health as it restricts your airflow during sleep. If your snoring goes untreated, it might keep you from getting a good night’s sleep and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.

If you are a mouth breather or snore regularly, there is a chance that you have sleep apnea. Be sure to talk to your primary care physician regarding your symptoms so that they can diagnose and implement a treatment plan.

5. Every part of your tooth is essential, even the root.

Your tooth’s root is critical because it holds your tooth in your jawbone and keeps it healthy. And the pulp of your tooth located inside your root canal is the only living part of your tooth structure, consisting of living tissue cells, arteries, and nerves. Therefore, if you don’t take care of the roots of your teeth, you are at greater risk of tooth loss as an adult. To protect those roots, brush, floss, and rinse your mouth with mouthwash.

Avoid sugary and acidic foods too, which are bad for your teeth. In particular, avoid soft candies, toffees, taffies, and pastries. Instead, try to eat calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Calcium is excellent for maintaining the bone that your roots are embedded in. If you do, however, lose an adult tooth, an implant is a great choice to help preserve your jawbone health.

Millennium Dental is your secret partner in protecting your oral-systemic health.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as much of a secret. But, going to the dentist every six months for preventive dentistry, including a professional dental cleaning and evaluation, is a critical component of your oral hygiene. And in doing so, you are doing yet another thing to protect that mouth-body connection. So if you are overdue for a checkup with the best dentist in Plano, TX, now is the time to request an appointment.