According to a study completed by People Magazine, 67 percent of respondents feel more productive and 71 percent feel happier after spending time on self-care. Practicing intentional self-care is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your overall health. Not only is self-care part of the solution to coping with daily stressors, but it is also the best way to ensure that you can be well, complete your job, care for others, and accomplish everything you want to do every day. There are numerous benefits associated with excellent self-care, including the following:
- Improved cognitive function
- Protected mental health
- Better relationships
- Improved physical health
- Reduced stress and anxiety and improved emotional health
As you begin your self-care journey, one idea is to focus more on your dental care. Your oral health is more important than you may realize. It can affect nearly every area of your general health, including your digestive and respiratory tracts and your immune system. Poor oral health can even lead to the development of serious diseases. Let’s jump into three reasons why dental care should be at the top of your priority list and how you can prioritize healthy oral habits in a few significant ways.
Improved Overall Health
Your oral health can reveal a lot about the overall health of your body. For example, it can show signs of infection, deficiencies, and systemic diseases. Some serious diseases—like diabetes and AIDS—may even be revealed through the mouth first.
Beyond that, the mouth is also filled with bacteria that can become harmful to your body without proper care. The chronic inflammation from periodontitis (gum disease), for example, is linked to a number of health risks and conditions, including the following:
- Heart disease
- Arterial blockages
- Oral cancer
With healthy oral habits, many of these diseases can be prevented. Consistency is key to success. In order to fully commit to your habits and improve your oral health, you need to brush, floss, and use mouthwash every night, as well as brush your teeth every morning. This will help you avoid gum disease—and chronic conditions—that could dramatically worsen your quality of health.
Healthy Habit Forming
Not only can keeping your mouth healthy help prevent a number of diseases, but it could also encourage you to take care of your wellness in other ways. For example, as you begin to form habits related to your oral health, it will likely become easier for you to form other healthy routines. Once you’ve proven to yourself that you can form habits and achieve your goals, you’ll feel the confidence to take on additional responsibilities.
Many of the tricks suggested by experts to form sticky habits are inherently required of practicing healthy oral habits. For example, it’s recommended to complete habits daily in order for them to stick. Likewise, it’s best to start simple and build up to more complex goals. Along those lines, knowing the benefits of making a change will help you stick to it. Because the skills you develop while forming quality dental health are so similar to those you need to create other habits, you’ll be more prepared than ever to take on anything else you want to improve about your life.
A Chance for Quality Alone Time
We’re social creatures, but spending time alone can offer serious health benefits. While it can be hard for many of us to set time apart to sit still and be alone, there are always chances to practice mindfulness in solitude. Your evening routine is the best opportunity to do just that. The following are just a few reasons why you should consider taking more time for yourself every day:
- Increased empathy
- Increased productivity
- Mental strength
- Sparked creativity
- Increased confidence
- Stress reduction
As you brush and floss your teeth every night, think of it as a chance to check in with yourself and be completely in the moment. While it may seem silly at first, small, everyday actions present a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply being present with whatever we’re doing at the time, which means you can do it in nearly any situation.
By investing more time in habits that improve your dental health, you can not only improve your overall wellness and encourage yourself to build additional healthy habits but also provide yourself with a safe space to be alone and present.
Healthy Oral Habits to Prioritize Moving Forward
Now that you know the benefits of expanding your dental care habits, it’s time to come up with a few strategies to do just that. There are many ways that you can prioritize your oral health. Here are a few healthy habits to consider implementing in your daily routine this year.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Using a gentle circular motion as you brush your teeth
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to your gums
- Using a fluoride toothpaste
- Considering mouthwash
- Replacing your toothbrush head every three to four months
- Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Limiting consumption of sugary or acidic foods and beverages
- Drinking water after eating or drinking something with a lot of sugar
By paying attention to just a few of these habits and adding them to your everyday life, you’ll see a significant reduction in cavities, notice an improvement in your breath and overall health, and even feel more prepared to tackle other health-related goals.
What are you waiting for? Now that it’s a new year, now is the perfect time to make self-care-related goals and improve your health. Now that you know why excellent dental care is an ultimate form of self-care, you’ll be prepared to take on new oral habits and ensure you’re set up for long-term success.