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We’re celebrating National Family Wellness Month here at WhiteWing Dental and we’re excited to share our love for dental care with families all across the Rio Grande Valley. While it may not seem to be the case, your dental health plays an important role in your overall health.

Various studies have shown that poor dental health can cause more than just cavities and gingivitis. The Mayo Clinic has noted links between periodontitis and several diseases including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory infections
  • Diabetic complications
  • Pregnancy and birth complications
  • Dementia
  • Neck and mouth cancers

Properly caring for your teeth is just one part of your overall wellness. But it’s a very important part nonetheless. Here at WhiteWing Dental, we want to offer you a few basic tips that are easy to commit to but which can have huge benefits. When combining healthy oral care habits and positive lifestyle choices, you and your family are sure to enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles and healthy bodies.

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Oral Care Tips for Family Wellness Month and All Year Long

Bad oral health is pretty easy to prevent with just a few basic tips that you should use for your daily routine.

1. Healthy habits start in childhood.

This is absolutely true and important for parents to remember. You are helping to establish many of the habits that will follow your children into adulthood. Don’t you want them to be positive, health-conscious habits?

One of the easiest, most beneficial healthy habits to teach is good oral care – and it starts in infancy. Baby teeth play an important role in the development of your child and taking care of them is essential to them leading a happy, healthy life.

It’s recommended that your baby’s first trip to the dentist should take place within six months of their first tooth appearing but no later than their first birthday.

2. Brushing and flossing are key to a healthy mouth.

Two of the most important steps that you can take to maintain a healthy smile is simply brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. You’ll also want to floss on a daily basis to get into all the nooks and crannies around your teeth and under your gums. Together, these two powerful actions can help to prevent tooth decay and bigger oral issues.

And being that it’s Family Wellness Month, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add in some family activities to make brushing and flossing that much more fun. Plus, you’ll be the perfect role model for your little ones.

To add some fun to brushing your teeth include some music during the process, or dance and move around during the two minutes.

3. Stop with the unhealthy habits.

One of the unhealthiest habits that you can do is smoking. While it’s absolutely horrible for your health, many people don’t realize how much damage it can do your mouth, gum, and teeth.

Smoking not only stains your teeth because of the nicotine and tar, but it can also lead to gum disease, plaque, tooth loss, and even mouth or throat cancer.

There’s no other way around it. Stop those unhealthy habits to keep your teeth, and heart, healthy.

4. Slow down on those sugary treats.

Yes, sweets and candies may be delicious but they are extremely harmful to your teeth. The acids and harmful bacteria they produce attack your teeth for 20 minutes at a time. It’s not “coolest” tip on our list but you’ll want cut back on those sugary sweets, soft drinks, and juices.

This is especially important for your little ones who often reap the benefits of treats and candies. Not only do they receive an abundance during the holidays, like Halloween, many parents often make sugary treats a reward for a job well done in school or extracurricular activities. Curb this behavior by rewarding them with non-food items such as allowing them to stay up later during the weekend or giving them extra time to play video games.

5. Fewer candies. Healthier foods.

Healthy foods can be as delicious as they are good for you. If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy a nice fruit salad to get your sugar kick and some much-needed vitamins. But balance that out with vegetables, healthy proteins, cheeses, yogurt, whole grains, nuts, and plenty of water. Water is essential to your health and plays a pivotal role in helping to wash down all those food particles that get stuck in between your teeth.

Supper is also the perfect opportunity to get the family together. Whether it’s Mom and Dad cooking while brother and sister set the table, or just eating together, mealtime can improve the emotional and overall wellness of the entire family.

And just in case you do decide to have a snack after dinner. It’s best to do so as a part of the meal as more saliva will be released during this time, which helps to fight against the acids.

6. Make visiting the dentist a part of your health routines.

Depending on your lifestyle, it’s recommended that you visit the dentist at least once a year, but more frequently if you are at high risk for an oral health disease. Ideally, though, you’ll be going at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups.

Parents, if you want to be a great role model, schedule your appointment at the same time as your kids so they can see your dedication to oral health care.

A Few “Fun” Activities for Family Wellness Month

Family Wellness Month is all about creating healthy habits in your family. If you’re ready to truly celebrate then consider the following activities:

      • Try new, healthy foods together as a family. While it doesn’t have to be anything drastic, slowly introducing new foods, or simply just more fruits and veggies, will give everyone time to adjust and enjoy their new cuisine.
      • Spend less time in front of the screen and more time outside, either exploring a new park, your neighborhood, or just enjoying a quick walk around the block.
      • The Rio Grande Valley is home to a number of amazing outdoor venues including the World Birding Center and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. Take advantage of them.
      • Remember, the family that plays together, stays healthy together. Make exercise a part of your routine by participating in walks/runs, going on hikes, or playing games of soccer, basketball, frisbee and more.

When you combine healthy living choices with great oral health care routines, you’re guaranteed to have a beautiful and healthy smile. As well as a lifetime of good health.

Start celebrating Family Wellness Month with a visit to our McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental.

Don’t let fear or forgetfulness keep you out of the dentist’s chair. To schedule your dental checkup, contact us at (956) 686-5577 today!