Did you know that your mouth contains one of your body's best defense systems against the cold and flu? Protecting and enhancing your oral health can go a long way towards helping to boost your immunities and prevent the spread of infection. According to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC)
Gargle with warm crystal salt water
In our dental offices, we offer a Himalayan crystal salt treatment that helps to reduce inflammation and restore the mouth's important pH balance on a cellular level. Himalayan crystal salt is very pure, has 84 important trace minerals, and does not burden the body the way chemically processed table salt does. It is more 'bioenergetic' and pure than sea salt much of which is also industrially "cleaned." At home, begin with a thorough daily brushing of your teeth, tongue and then gargle with a homemade crystal saltwater solution. If you can find Himalayan crystal salt in a health food store or online, that's always preferable. Warm crystal salt water helps heal inflammation in the mouth, promotes sinus health and is soothing for sore throats as well.
Brush three times a day
Brushing your teeth and tongue three times a day, preferably with a mild non-detergent, chemical-free toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthrinse will help keep your mouth clean and healthy. An unhealthy oral environment, with decay and gum disease, has also been shown to compromise the proper function of your immune system and can make you more susceptible to respiratory infection. In many instances, this can reduce your protection against the common cold or flu.
Change and sanitize your toothbrush
Your toothbrush is a veritable incubator of viruses and bacteria - some removed from your mouth during brushing, and some from the environment (especially your cosmetic or toiletries case). It is a good idea to change your toothbrush immediately after any illness. Regular sanitizing and also changing your toothbrush monthly will also help keep harmful germs at bay year-round.
Eat an antioxidant rich diet
Antioxidant rich foods such as lightly cooked or raw greens, plant-based foods and hormone-free meats will not only help keep you lean, but may also aid your body's natural defense systems. When you do feel ill, you my want to try a mega-green fresh power juice or an antioxidant infused water.
5) Exercise and manage stress
Exercise helps to boost the immune system, helps improves circulation and helps reduce stress. Runners, for instance, may often have a very low incidence of gum disease. Healthy habits are especially important during the winter months. Try to get as much sleep and exercise as our full lives allow. Take time for yourself. Stress will help deteriorate your defenses and may quickly lead to illness.
6) Avoid smoking.
Smoking may irritate oral and nasal passageways, strangle blood circulation and may make you more susceptible to infection. Try to limit or avoid all types of smoking, including second hand smoke.
Dr. Gerald P. Curatola is a renowned aesthetic dentist and pioneer in the emerging field of rejuvenation dentistry, which improves patients' overall health and appearance by integrating total wellness with cutting edge oral care and restorative procedures. In addition to his private practice, research, and work as a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU College of Dentistry, he is an internationally sought after speaker, author and expert who has been featured widely in print and broadcast media. For more information, go to DrGerry.net