5 secrets to whole body wellness

Biking, swimming, traveling or just catching a baseball game are some of the best parts of summer. Enjoying the outdoors and staying active can certainly improve your overall health, but could it impact your oral health too? It’s easy to absentmindedly eat or drink snacks that may harm your body and teeth when out and about. So here are five tips to help you improve your well-being and your oral health.

1 Protect your smile.

Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs SPF — your lips can chap and sunburn too, so don’t forget to pack lip balm with SPF. Also, if you’re engaging in more physical activities like basketball or baseball, protect your mouth and teeth by wearing a properly fitted mouthguard.

2 Hydrate with water.

Need to cool down after a day in the sun? Reach for water instead of drinks loaded with sugar. Water not only rinses away harmful bacteria and helps keep your breath fresh, but fluoridated tap water actually works against tooth decay by hardening your enamel. And if you need a little flavor, check out this refreshing recipe for infused water that you can make at home. Your mouth and waistline will thank you for it.

3 Snack sensibly.

Rather than cookies, cupcakes or pie, reach for these treats instead:

• Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol does more than satisfy your craving for something sweet: It can help clean teeth and reduce your risk of cavities.

• Fresh fruit or vegetables. Fruits and veggies a great way to get nutrients, but that’s not all: eating them stimulates saliva flow, which helps remove plaque from your teeth.

• Nuts like almonds or walnuts. The high fiber and protein content in nuts make them a filling and satisfying snack between mealtimes.

• Cheese and yogurt. These snacks are easy to pack for a day on the go. Plus, they’re full of calcium and vitamins that help strengthen teeth.

4 Eat in moderation.

Monitoring your portion sizes is important, but don’t reduce your food intake too much! When you deplete your body of necessary vitamins and minerals, it can hurt your oral health. Malnutrition can even lead to a weakened jawbone, softened enamel and deficient gums, making you vulnerable to gum disease.

5 Vary your food groups.

Eating a variety of foods not only tastes great, it nourishes you with the minerals and nutrients needed to keep your teeth and gums in good health. Here are some foods that can keep your smile bright:

• Calcium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, milk, yogurt and cheese keep teeth and the rest of the bones in your body healthy.

• Phosphorus, found in lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts and beans, is also great for teeth strength because it binds to calcium and improves its effectiveness.

• Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, peppers, broccoli and spinach are packed with vitamin C that helps promote gum health.