Healthy smile, healthy you!

Your beau­ti­ful smile does more than put you—and everyone around you!—in a good mood. Healthy gums cut your risk of heart dis­ease, can­cer and arthri­tis by 50%, plus add 14 years to your life! Try th­ese proven strate­gies to keep your gums in the pink

Woman's World - - Start your week with a smile! -

1 Dry-brush in the AM

Hold off on the tooth­paste! Brush­ing with a dry tooth­brush for two min­utes daily can re­duce plaque buildup by 63%, sug­gests a study in The Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can

Dental As­so­ci­a­tion. It also cuts gum in­flam­ma­tion and bleed­ing by 55%— bet­ter re­sults than of­fered by tar­tar-con­trol tooth­pastes! Why? Tooth­brushes do a much bet­ter job of clean­ing teeth with­out foamy tooth­pastes. Once you’ve dry-brushed, fin­ish with tooth­paste to freshen your breath and get the cav­ity-fight­ing hit of flu­o­ride. 2 Sweeten up with honey Here’s a de­li­cious way to boost gum health: Swish a ta­ble­spoon of raw (un­pas­teur­ized) honey, then wait 10 min­utes be­fore brush­ing. You’ll lower your risk of gum dis­ease by 52%, say New Zealand re­searchers, plus cut your heal­ing time in half if your gums are al­ready in­flamed. Study coau­thor Peter Molan, PH.D., ex­plains that raw honey is a pow­er­ful germ killer rich in plant en­zymes that help heal and strengthen dam­aged gum tis­sues.

3 Mas­sage your gums mid­day

Rub­bing a dab of tooth­paste onto your teeth and gums mid­day in­creases your cav­ity pro­tec­tion by as much as 50%! Lead re­searcher Anna Nord­strom, PH.D., of the Univer­sity of Gothen­burg in Swe­den, says this trick gives your mouth a blast of cav­ity- and tar­tarfight­ing flu­o­ride. Plus, the mas­sage in­creases blood flow to gums to fight in­flam­ma­tion.

4 Sip tea af­ter meals

Black, white, green or oo­long—what­ever your pref­er­ence, sip­ping just 1/2 cup of tea af­ter meals cuts your risk of gum dis­ease by 45%! Tea is rich in plant com­pounds that make oral bac­te­ria “slip­pery,” say Univer­sity of Rochester re­searchers, so they can’t latch on to gums or teeth. — Brenda Kearns

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