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
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