Practicing good health hygiene can not only give you attractive, healthy teeth, but it can help contribute to weight loss as well. If you’re worried about your weight or you just want to keep a healthy, toned body, you should be concerned about your oral health as well. There are a number of ways in which good dental hygiene can be connected to weight loss, especially as just one part of your comprehensive healthy diet and exercise plan.
Having a lovely smile, no matter your weight, can make you feel better about yourself. If you practice good dental hygiene, you’re more likely to have whiter, more attractive teeth. Being able to smile without being self-conscious can do wonders for your self-confidence. The more confident you are, the more motivation you’ll have to engage in physical activity and work out.
Foods that Lead to Tooth and Gum Decay
An essential part of practicing good dental hygiene is removing sugary and starchy foods from your diet, as both sugar and starch sticks easily to your teeth and can cause decay. These foods, such as sweets, pasta, bread, potatoes, sugary coffee drinks and especially soda pop, are also high in carbohydrates and/or calories. If you remove these foods from your diet, your teeth and gums will have a decreased chance of decay and you’ll also cut a lot of calories and carbohydrates out of your diet, which increases your likelihood of losing weight.
Oral Bacteria and Health Complications
When you engage in good dental hygiene, you’ll cut down significantly on the amount of bacteria living in your mouth. Oral bacteria in excess can lead to stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and even death. Any of these health complications can make it more difficult for you to work out and lose weight. If you don’t have poor dental hygiene and thus have a decreased risk for these health complications, you’ll have more endurance and be able to work out more often in order to lose weight.
Alcohol, Weight Loss and Dental Health
Drinking too much alcohol and drinking alcohol on a consistent basis can dry your mouth. A dry mouth is an ideal environment for oral bacteria, which can lead to poor dental health as well as a number of health complications. Alcohol is also essentially empty calories, although some wines have some health benefits. The more you drink, the more calories you have to burn and the greater your risk for developing an excess of oral bacteria. Conversely, you can have better oral hygiene and a better chance of losing weight if you cut back on your alcohol intake.
Regular Brushing Habits
Brushing your teeth after every meal can also lead to you eating less. This is because it takes between 20 and 30 minutes for you to feel full. If you tell yourself you’ll brush your teeth after one plateful of food, you’ll give your digestive system more time to work and you’ll be less likely to go back and eat more.