While brushing our teeth twice a day and flossing have been ingrained in most of us since childhood we never knew that poor dental health could lead to general health problems such as heart disease, worsening of diabetes, pancreatic cancer, etc… Research now confirms that the bacteria and inflammation that we see in gum disease does lead to or exacerbate other health issues, so it is more important than ever to be mindful of your oral health.
2 ways you can learn how to put oral health care first
1. Be a good self-care role model: Instill healthy habits
When children see their parents brushing and flossing they are more likely to brush and floss their teeth. I used to like to watch my grandma, Emma brush her teeth. She brushed twice a day and gargled. She told me that “her teeth were like pearls precious and rare” and she needed them to stay healthy, so she could stay healthy. This was in 1972, long before extensive research linked general health to our teeth and gum health. Grandma Emma passed away at the age of ninety-one only missing one tooth. I wear a string of baroque pearls around my neck every day at my office to commemorate my Grandmas oral health ritual.
2. Use your brushing and flossing time as a small “me-time” ritual
We all have busy lives and with the way the world is lately, there seems to be less and less time to take care of ourselves. Studies show the key to a long healthy life is having balance and reducing stress with exercise, eating well, and self-care. Time is a commodity so sometimes it does seem like brushing your teeth takes forever.
How much time out of your day does it really take?
The reality is that if you brush your teeth 2x a day for 2-4 minutes it equates to, at most, 8 minutes out of the 1440 minutes of your 24-hour day. If we can look at this from a different perspective, you can understand it doesn’t need to take a long time to build this “me-time” ritual into your daily life.
If we are mindful we can create small moments of “me” throughout our daily lives. You can create a ritual of cleansing your spirit while cleaning your teeth and gums. Consider playing a special song that you enjoy for 2-4 minutes while brushing or flossing your teeth (don’t forget to brush your tongue too).
“Shift into a practice of curating moments that make you pause, appreciate and realize you deserve beautiful moments whenever and wherever you can get them,” said Ashli Stockton, founder and chief executive of Sunday Forever.
I hope this insight has been helpful,
With gratitude, Mary Ann