Good dental hygiene is good for your heart and your wallet

I am a teeth person. Once I started bleaching my own teeth, I became obsessed with mine and with others. It is now the first thing I notice and I constantly obsess about mine. (I’ve been known to brush my teeth after every meal, even in my work bathroom.)

While your concern about your chompers may not be compulsive like mine, everyone should have a certain degree of concern for your teeth. And your lifestyle and your choices are a big part of the condition of your teeth. (However, genetics do play a part in the strength.)

First, the cosmetic side. What you eat can actually dye your teeth, making them less than pearly white. Wine, even white wine, stains teeth. With a high acidity it breaks down the enamel on your tooth which exposes the inner part of your tooth. This has two problems: the thinner the enamel, the easier it is to stain. And a thin enamel is just a cavity waiting to happen. Even orange juice has the same affect when you drink it everyday.

Other dark foods like marinara sauce and dark soda are notorious for dying your teeth. Either bleach right after you each anything with a red sauce, or suck your soda through a straw. (Even better, ditch the soda habit. Better for your body and your teeth. You’ll thank me later.)

Even certain types of work outs can affect the color of your teeth. Have you ever heard of swimmer’s teeth or swimmer’s calculus? The high pH in the chlorine in the pools can create dark deposits on the teeth. If you are a major swimmer, there is no way to avoid getting water in your mouth. But it is nothing that professional bleach a few times a year won’t take care of.

But the cleanliness of your mouth also affects your physical well being as well. As a good rule of thumb, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day at a minimum. If you really want to take care of your teeth (and your breath), brush your teeth after every meal. And floss after foods that are notorious for sticking in between teeth like popcorn, poppy seeds, etc. If you suffer from bad breath, consider using a tongue scraper and mouthwash to kill bacteria that tries to hide as well.

This cleanliness routine does more than sparkle your teeth. It can help you be heart healthy. The bacteria in your mouth left untreated to fester in your mouth can actually do some damage to your heart. So brush and brush well.

If anything, do it for the cost. Life is not always about money, but anytime I can save money, I do it. And bad dental hygiene costs. a lot. For the small cost of toothpaste, floss and a monthly premium for your Cigna health insurance, you can combat the high costs associated with bad dental hygiene.

If that won’t scare you, how about the two scariest word in your dentist’s dictionary: root canal.