We so often forget how interconnected the systems of the body are. Most of us know that maintaining a healthy weight supports our heart health and our joints, but who would have thought that oral hygiene has a direct correlation to weight?! An article for Health.com reported on research published in the journal Oral Diseases, which found that people with higher body mass indexes were six times more likely to have severe gum disease. Increased inflammation due to obesity can decrease immune responses that help fight bacteria, which cause gum disease. So, maintaining a healthy weight can help improve oral hygiene by decreasing inflammation and improving the immune system. But did you know that working to improve the state of your mouth can help you lose weight too?
In her latest book, TurboCharged: The Silver Disobedience Edition, Dian Griesel shares a great tip to reduce mindless snacking, help you lose weight, and improve oral hygiene all at the same time. It’s pretty simple: brush your teeth and/or swish with mouthwash often. Brushing your teeth effects the taste buds, reducing their sensitivity and the appealing taste of most foods. This helps curb the impulse to munch. An article for Popular Science states that the sodium laureth sulfate used to make toothpaste bubbly suppresses the taste buds, causing food to have less of an appeal. Sometimes all we’re craving is a fresh taste in our mouth, and our craving for food will diminish with the minty swish of mouthwash.
Griesel also points out that sorbitol, an ingredient found in many toothpastes and mouthwashes, will satisfy that sugar craving and allow the body to continue to burn calories because it recognizes sorbitol as sugar. Another option is to chew sugar-free gum with sorbitol in it. Sorbitol keeps your metabolism revved up and your body burning calories without actually consuming any. Clean up your mouth, turbo-charge your metabolism, and reduce mindless snacking, all with this one simple tip.
So how do you incorporate these practices into an already busy lifestyle? Here are some tips to start. First, brush after every meal. For an easy after-lunch-clean-up while at work or out and about, grab some pre-pasted throw-away toothbrushes like Colgate Wisp. Keep some in your office, your purse, or your car so that you are always prepared to keep a clean mouth. If you feel the urge to snack in between meals and aren’t sure if you are truly hungry, grab the mouthwash. Swish for a while, and don’t rinse with water, reminds Griesel. The fresh taste and the sorbitol will eliminate any false food cravings you may have as a result of a dull, bored mouth. Not only are these good practices for strong oral hygiene, but these habits will also discourage mindless eating and excess calorie consumption, helping you lose weight!
Are you ready to improve your oral hygiene and your waistline at the same time? Ready, set, SWISH!
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