Love Your Smile
Good Oral Health is Good for Your Overall Health
Researchers at the University of Kansas found that smiling helps reduce your body’s response to stress and lowers your heart rate in tense situations. Another study suggests smiling leads to a longer life. There’s no question: smiling is good for you!
A person’s mouth is often referred to as the window into the health of the body. A main reason is that this area is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts. Given that the mouth is also known to be home to a significant number of bacteria, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential to a healthy life. By understanding what causes issues like tooth decay and oral diseases, you can make smart, simple changes to better your health.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day and seeing your dentist twice a year are a great foundation for having a healthy smile and good oral health. Eating healthy, quitting tobacco and drinking tap water are great ways to really take your smile to the next level!
Opioid Crisis and Oral Health
Many Americans experience their first exposure to opioids after dental extractions. Because opioids are highly addictive, those who develop a dependency also experience issues with dry mouth and tooth decay. In 2019, the Louisiana Department of Health hosted the Opioid Action Summit focused on responding to the opioid crisis.
Simple Ways to a Healthier Smile
There are safe and effective ways to prevent oral health disease that everyone can follow to help maintain a healthy smile.
Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, visiting a dentist for routine checkups and cleanings, drinking fluoridated water and avoiding tobacco products are all great ways to prevent tooth decay, cavities and the development of gum disease.
The foods you eat affect your health, your energy level and the way you feel. Living in a state known for its famous Southern cuisine can make eating healthy a challenge, but following a nutritious diet doesn’t have to be complicated or tasteless.
Small, nutritious changes can make a big impact in your overall health. Consuming less sugar and more fruits and vegetables helps prevent cavities and can improve your overall health.
Because oral health has a direct impact on other chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke, eating healthy can help you love your smile now and well-ahead into the future!
Tobacco use can cause cancer of the larynx (voice box), the mouth and throat. In addition, tobacco use can color your teeth and cause tooth and gum decay. Secondhand smoke can also harm the ones you love. For all of these reasons and more, quitting or never starting tobacco use is an important part of having a smile you can love!
For help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit quitwithusla.org.
Tap water, especially water that has been fluoridated, is good for your teeth and bones! It’s also free and good for the environment. So drink tap and keep on loving your smile!
- Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association (ADA) Adults 40-60
- Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association (ADA) Adults Over 60
- Louisiana Adult Denture Services
- Caring for Our Children: Oral Health Standards
- National Maternal & Child Oral Health Resource Center
- EPSDT Dental Program
- What Parents and Caregivers Can Do
- Mouth Healthy Resources and Activities for Youth
- Sesame Street Healthy Me, Healthy Teeth Resources and Activities
- Mouth Healthy for Teens
- ADA Dental Minute Video “Special Care Dentistry”
- Special Needs And Oral Health
1 American Academy of Pediatrics, Brushing for Two: How Your Oral Health Affects Baby. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Brushing-for-Two-How-Your-Oral-Health-Effects-Baby.aspx
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Oral Health. https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.html