Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nutrition, Exercise and Cleaner Teeth for a Healthier Mind and Body

The first step to health is regular exercise. I know we’ve all tried this before, so this time let's get CREATIVE - instead of lifting weights or investing in that expensive gym membership, create a regimen of stretching in the morning, enroll in a dance or rock climbing class, and take up a new group sport (soccer anyone?). Here are two great tips that have worked for me: taking the stairs instead of the elevator and biking to work.

The second step is getting a good night’s rest. Studies have shown that people who lack sleep are cranky and unpleasant, but also have an increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and underperforming at work. RELAXATION is key to restful sleep. We carry lots of tension in our lower backs and necks, this tension can turn into clenching or grinding of teeth, especially at night. If you’re waking up feeling unrested or have a sore jaw muscle, you could be suffering from a dental condition called bruxism. A nightguard can help. This comfortable appliance can be very effective in helping you get a good night’s rest.

The third step is to eat better. Scientists have shown that those who eat better, live longer. Let’s cut out the refined sugars - those in sodas and sweets - because these have been associated with tumors, obesity and diabetes. Eat the COLORED stuff: red fruits, orange vegetables, green teas, and brown nuts contain fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. These will give you lasting energy throughout your day. 

The fourth step is cleaner teeth. SMILE! Psychologists have shown that the simple act of smiling - even if it is pretend - makes a person feel truly happier. The smile is a social signal for welcoming, friendliness, and humor. We all know that brushing, flossing, rinsing and 6-month dental cleanings are important to maintain a healthy smile. But doing so can sometimes be a chore. Dental neglect resulting in bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay can negatively affect your smile. 

For any questions about dental hygiene or healthy foods, feel free to ask!

Best Regards, 

Dr. Josh Berd, DDS
Dentist and Educator
San Francisco, California

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