A radiant smile can be one of the first things to emit self-confidence. Having a lovely smile can significantly impact your self-esteem in a positive way, and, though it might sound strange, practising good oral hygiene can not only give you healthy teeth, but it can also help contribute to weight loss and overall health.
If you are concerned with your body image and your health, focusing on your oral hygiene should be a top concern, too. There are a number of ways in which dental care is connected to weight loss and management. With a more attractive smile, it can provide the self-confidence that you need in order to stay motivated to work out.
Tooth decay and weight gain
An essential part of maintaining your dental hygiene is sacrificing the sugary and starchy foods from your diet. The sugar and the starch sticks to your teeth easily, in turn causing tooth decay from plaque build-up. Items such as sodas, pasta, bread, sweets, and coffee are often high in carbohydrate and caloric content.
By removing the junk foods and starches from your diet (or minimising your consumption) you will increase the chances of preventing tooth decay and you will be saving a lot of calories. This ultimately increases your chances of maintaining your weight or achieving weight loss. Often, the foods that cause you to gain weight the quickest are also responsible for rapid tooth decay.
By engaging in good oral hygiene, you significantly reduce the amount of bacteria living in your mouth. Excess amounts of oral bacteria have been linked to strokes, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Having any of these chronic issues can be detrimental to your ability to work out and maintain a healthy weight.
By focusing on a healthy diet, you not only improve your health issues, but you can prolong the health of your teeth and gums and lose weight. By combating oral bacteria (from brushing, flossing, getting regular check-ups, and altering your diet) you will notice the amount of energy you have is pronounced, thus compelling you to work out and keep off those excess pounds.
Poor oral hygiene
One of the first signs of poor oral hygiene is gum disease (gingivitis). This is when harmful bacteria builds up in the mouth and causes the gums to bleed. Periodontal disease can result from this, eventually causing teeth to fall out. Sadly, if enough harmful bacteria is able to finagle its way into the bloodstream, it can cause the walls of arteries to become inflamed. This can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.
People tend to develop Type 2 diabetes from poor lifestyle choices and eating habits. Type 2 diabetics are typically overweight. Some cases of this disease can be prevented in full. Dental care is linked to this disease because of poor food choices – which ultimately have led to weight gain and additional complications.
An over-abundance of oral bacteria can also cause poor circulation of blood – this can make working-out an arduous task, reducing the amount of endurance you have. This puts you at risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The less often you work out, the fewer calories you burn because your metabolism has been slowed.
What else can you do?
Weight loss is never an easy goal: so much discipline and dedication has to be invested in order for you to reach any desired weight loss. Luckily, taking care of your teeth is a good first step in order to push you above and beyond your fitness goals.
Alcohol (in excess) is also a factor that can contribute to both poor dental health and weight gain. Alcohol can dry the mouth, providing the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Undeniably, alcohol is essentially empty calories. The more you consume, the more you put yourself at risk for oral bacterial growth and weight gain from empty calories.
Always remember that a healthy body starts with a healthy smile. By adopting good oral hygiene (such as brushing, flossing, using mouth rinse, getting regular dental check-ups, and avoiding sugary foods) you can lay the foundation for an active lifestyle and meet all of your fitness/weight loss goals!
Richard is a freelance writer who tries his best to live a healthy lifestyle – though he makes an error every now and then. He is currently writing on gum treatments and he would welcome your visit on Twitter; @thefreshhealth.