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The benefits of brushing your teeth cannot be denied. From childhood, we're taught how to brush our teeth - use circular motions, up and down and not forgetting the back teeth. While brushing lessens our chance of getting cavities and gives us whiter teeth and a prettier smile, our humble toothbrushes come with unexpected health rewards.
Here are four (4) surprising benefits you get from brushing your teeth:
It can save your lungs.
Brushing your teeth may not usually be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pneumonia, but it could be. Both COPD and pneumonia are respiratory infections that occur when bacteria get into the lower respiratory tract. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that starts when bacteria from plaque gets in and around the teeth and into the gums. If you have heart disease, a dental infection can escalate health health issues. Brush and floss regularly to lessen the chance of periodontal disease and lower the risk of bacteria making its way throughout your body.
It can help you conceive healthier babies.
Oral health can lead to a healthier baby. Healthier gums could lower the risk of giving birth prematurely. Many pregnant women are prone to "pregnancy gingivitis," a mild form of gum disease and that's why it's important to have an increased focus on brushing and flossing during pregnancy.
It can help you lose weight.
You may feel less inclined to snack if you've just brushed your teeth. You know that when you've brushed, certain foods or drinks just don't taste as good, right? Once your mouth is "minty fresh" food and drink aren't palatable and you might be more likely to skip a snack. Brushing your teeth sends a signal to your brain that you're done eating. If you brush your teeth after a meal, you just might stave off the urge to nibble on a snack or dessert.
It can make your smarter.
Studies show patients with gum disease could have lower cognitive function. In the study, participants age 70 and older with gum inflammation were nine times more likely to test on the lower end of cognitive testing than those with healthy gums and no oral health issues.
I could go on with all the benefits of daily brushing but the point is, the rewards of brushing and flossing are plenty.
Now if you'll excuse us, we need to go and brush our teeth for the next 15 minutes just to be on the safe side.