5 ways to improve your oral health today

1. Apply sunscreen to your lips

How many times have you forgotten to apply sunscreen to your lips? They need some TLC.

Your lips make less melanin than the rest of your body, so it is important to block out harmful sunrays. Apply at least SPF 15. Without sunscreen, the lips are at risk of sunburn, actinic cheilitis (think dry, wrinkly lips) and lip cancer.

A zinc-based, physical sunscreen https://amzn.to/3R3oiXi is better than a chemical sunscreen that absorbs into the skin. Look for ingredients like Vitamin E and C to help fight free radicals. Remember to re-apply physical sunscreen throughout the day.

Ingredients like beeswax and grapeseed oil are great as well.Avoid fragrances, parabens, alcohols, mineral oil, petroleum, and artificial flavoring.

To take it a step further: Support companies that vouch to eliminate heavy metals like lead form their makeup products

Here are some clean beauty lip care options:

https://amzn.to/3E0HN07: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick

https://amzn.to/3faEeKj: Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick

2. Don’t put a toothpick, sewing needle or hairpin between your teeth

Protect your teeth from abrasion. Holding these items between your teeth causes enamel breakdown. Areas with less enamel are more prone to decay. The notches also compromise aesthetics.

These items can also damage your gums and lead to injuries if the object is ingested, inhaled or punctured into soft tissue. They can create spaces between your teeth, damage delicate root structure and ruin dental work.

If you like using a toothpick to remove food, opt for a proxybrush https://amzn.to/3dwL6kJ instead. This is a soft flosser that will remove debris without harming the enamel.

3. Don’t floss too hard

Flossing hard can lead to premature weakening of enamel. Follow the natural contours of your tooth and remember to clean on both sides. the floss around you tooth in a “J” shape. It should not be painful and maintain equal pressure as you move from the top to the bottom of the tooth.

Its particularly easy to apply excessive pressure on the surfaces towards the back of our mouth, so be very mindful of the pressure utilized. Take your time.

4. Don’t sip on soft drinks

Sipping on sodas makes your mouth a bacterial breeding ground. The sugar provides food for the bacteria. It is converted to acid and facilities the demineralization of the tooth structure.

The acidic environment in turn creates a hospitable environment for bacterial proliferation.

Sodas themselves contain acids like citric acid (which dissolved minerals and chelates calcium) and phosphoric acid (dissolves minerals). The two-fold attack on your teeth, coupled with constant sipping imparts a devastating and quick deterioration of oral health.

Some steps to help quit:

- Switch to a diet soda

- Drink water throughout the day

- Use a straw

- Reduce consumption rate overtime

5. No more smoking.

Avoid hookah, cigarettes and even vapes/e-cigs. Nicotine reduces blood flow in the gum tissues which make your more prone to periodontitis (jaw bone inflammation).

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