YOUR SMILE STARTS HERE: TIPS ON DENTAL CARE AND HEALTH Emily Smith As a millennial (and a busy mom with two kiddos!), I absolutely love the wide variety of options for health and beauty that I can partake in to feel and look like the best version of myself. However, there is one facet of health that I feel is often overlooked in our jam-packed schedules: dental and oral care. Dental and oral health are about preventative care—the more you do now, the less time and money you’ll have to spend later on neglected teeth and gums. Don’t believe that oral and teeth health are that important? Recent studies have shown that when your gums are inflamed to the point of periodontitis, you have a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. For millennials, we’re at an age when we can address the care of our teeth now, thus preparing our schedules, habits, and bodies for this incredibly important facet of our care down the line. Now let’s explore #MyConfidenceChecklist for maintaining a healthy lifestyle that contributes to feeling my best and maintaining a beautiful smile. EMILY’S TOP 5 CONFIDENCE CHECKLIST FOR OVERALL MOUTH AND BODY HEALTH Eating Right Beauty and health really do start from the inside out, even for your teeth and gums. Here are three recipes that I recommend incorporating into your kitchen today: Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies: Almonds are chock full of calcium, which helps your tooth enamel to stay strong. Pineapple Green Smoothie: As I mentioned before, gum disease can lead to health problems. However, you can combat this by eating lots of leafy greens like spinach—they’re loaded with calcium and folic acid, which is a B vitamin found to combat gum disease. Strawberry Infused Water: Drink water infused with options like strawberry, mint or cucumber to quell your cravings for acidic or sugary drinks that wreak havoc on teeth. Exercising Regularly Try to get in four sessions of at least thirty minutes’ worth of cardio weekly to keep your heart and muscles healthy, while combating high cholesterol and stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m a big fan of working with the elliptical and body weight exercises. Living a Balanced Lifestyle It’s important to enjoy treats now and again, while keeping moderation in mind. If you’re really craving that glass of wine or piece of chocolate, have it! Just portion it out beforehand to keep your calorie count in check. Don’t forget to floss and brush your teeth afterwards. Getting Enough Sleep I can’t even count the amount of studies I’ve read about the benefits of a full night’s sleep (eight to nine hours per night). Not only does it keep your weight down and your hormones regulated, but a full night of sleep offers a plethora of other health benefits like curbing inflammation (thus assisting gum health), improving memory, and sharpening your attention. Visiting your Dentist to Maintain Your Smile It is important to have regular check-ups with your dentist, which will save you time and money in the long run. In between dental exams, use a toothpaste containing fluoride to strengthen enamel, and floss every single day. Want to feel even more confident about your smile? Consult with your dentist to make sure whitening products are right for you, and use a tinted moisturizing lipstick that’ll make your smile really pop! April is Oral Health Month, the perfect time to Book an appointment with your dentist! This post has been brought to you in partnership with the Ontario Dental Association.