You may have heard the phrase “Healthy mouth, healthy you” — but did you know that it is actually true?

Taking care of your teeth and mouth does more than just ensure that your pearly whites are picture perfect. Good oral hygiene will improve your overall health, reduce your risk of serious disease, and can even help preserve your memory later in life!

When should you start good oral health habits? The best time to start is as early as you can, and the second best time is right now. Teaching your children good dental habits is something that will pay off big time in adulthood. And if you’re tempted to teach your kids, but not practice good oral hygiene habits yourself — remember that you are a role model! What your kids see you do, they will do too.

Here are five ways that good dental hygiene habits can boost your overall health.


This one might seem obvious – but having a healthy smile will boost your self-esteem. Decayed and yellow teeth are not only considered unattractive, but they are also associated with bad breath. If you keep your mouth healthy and free of gum disease, you can feel good about smiling wide for every picture and having face to face conversations.


Did you know that chronic inflammation of your gums has been linked to the development of cardiovascular problems like blockages of blood vessels, strokes, and heart disease? While there is no official cause and effect statement, the link has shown up in numerous studies.


When tested for memory and other cognitive skills, adults with gingivitis (swollen & bleeding gums) performed worse than adults with healthier gums and mouths. To decrease your risk of gingivitis, use an antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash.


If your mouth isn’t healthy, the rest of your body suffers. Your laziness in brushing your teeth can lead to infection in other areas of your body. There is research to support the development of rheumatoid arthritis as a result of gum disease. Make sure you eat a balanced diet, brush your teeth, and visit your dentist regularly to prevent gum disease.


If you have uncontrolled diabetes, chances are that you also have gum disease. Since diabetes makes it harder to fight off infection, a simple gum infection can quickly turn into gum disease. In turn, having a gum disease makes it harder to regulate blood sugar levels.

Basically, our mouths are the gateways to our bodies. The bacteria in our mouths feed on the food remnants left behind. If we don’t take care to clean our mouths, the bacteria will form sticky plaque, and cause inflammation, gingivitis, and even tooth loss. But don’t worry! You can avoid all this by simply practicing good oral hygiene:

  1. Replace your toothbrush every three months. A good rule of thumb is to replace it when the season changes.
  2. Floss once a day! You don’t have to floss at the same time as you brush your teeth, you can floss while you watch tv or while you do other mundane tasks that don’t require your hands.
  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash! This will help kill bacteria reduce the amount that enters your bloodstream.
  4. Eat right! Avoid sticky sugary foods, and if you do indulge, brush right after!
  5. Quit smoking. Smoking damages your teeth and gums (not to mention lungs).
  6. Get regular dental checkups. Dentists will help keep your mouth in tip-top shape.


Healthy mouth, healthy body?

The Mouth-Body Connection: 6 Ways Oral Hygiene Helps Keep You Well

Article courtesy of Kingsway Dental Centre