One of the great things about starting a new year is the opportunity to make a fresh start. In the United States, the most common new year’s resolutions pertain to health. Since we are committed to helping improve our patients’ overall health, we would like to take the opportunity to offer four tips to help you make 2021 your healthiest year ever:
Regular physical activity produces long-term health benefits and reduces the risk of depression, cognitive decline, and many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Nevertheless, relatively few Americans exercise enough to ward off poor health. The Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week as well as two weekly sessions of strength training exercises for every major muscle group.
Admittedly, achieving this goal is more difficult given the closed status of most California gyms. But there are lots of alternate ways to stay fit. Walking outside is an easy and affordable way to stay in shape. You could also take advantage of one of the many physical fitness apps currently on the market.
Psychology Today reports that Americans sleep an average of 6-1/2 to 7 hours per night, although they should get at least eight hours for optimal health. Prolonged periods of insufficient sleep contribute to weight gain, increased calorie consumption, reduced productivity during wake hours, poor athletic performance, higher risk for heart disease and stroke, poor glucose metabolism, increased incidence of depression, inflammation, and poor emotional and social interactions. To improve sleep, avoid caffeine after 3 p.m., spend time away from electronic devices immediately before heading to bed, exercise early in the day, create and maintain a relaxing bedtime routine.
This might seem an odd suggestion. After all, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that 71 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. So, when we say you should eat, we mean you should focus on plenty of healthy fare. While the jury is still out about whether the optimal diet is vegan, vegetarian or Paleo, experts agree that green leafy vegetables, lean protein and low glycemic fruit deserve a prominent position on every plate, while added sugar does not. For more dietary guidelines, check out the World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Diet Fact Sheet.
While proper oral and dental hygiene helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can prolong the life of teeth, poor dental hygiene promotes gum disease and increases risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and preterm labor. The mouth is a window into the rest of the body, providing a useful vantage point for detecting early signs and symptoms of systemic disease. So, people who have regular oral examinations enable their dentists to identify and possibly diagnose medical conditions in early stages, based on associated conditions such as swollen gums, mouth ulcers and dry mouth.
Chronic diseases which manifest oral symptoms include diabetes, gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), advanced gum disease, leukemia, oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and digestive disorders, as well as conditions which lead to serious complications like intestinal failure and irritable bowel syndrome.
To take great care of your teeth in 2021:
- Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat a healthy diet to prevent gum disease.
- Avoid traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
- Visit the dentist regularly (1-2x per year) for cleanings, X-rays and exams.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.