Wake Up Refreshed…By Revving Up Your Oral Health

What’s the trick to a good night’s sleep? Maybe it has more to do with your mouth than your mattress. We’ve got six tricks and tips to give restless nights and groggy mornings the boot while giving your oral health a boost! Relax. Falling asleep shouldn’t be hard, but stress and worry can make it hard to clear the mind and drift peacefully off to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests winding down before bed to give your mind and muscles a change to relax. Try turning off the TV and the computer and curling up with a book or magazine. This can also help reduce instances of sleep bruxism – unconscious grinding of the teeth. Avoid caffeine. Habitual coffee drinkers may notice that even when they get a good night’s sleep, they crave caffeine to feel alert in the morning. This happens because caffeine is addictive, so going without triggers a craving. What your body really needs is something to kick-start your metabolism and get your blood pumping. The sweet and crunchy satisfaction of eating an apple is an all-natural way to wake up and feel great. The natural sugars offer energy, without the crash of caffeine or donuts. Plus, crunchy foods like apples help clean teeth and won’t stain teeth like coffee and tea. Follow a routine. Your internal clock tells you when you’re hungry, when you’re sleepy and when it’s time to wake up. Keep it in sync by sticking to a similar schedule every day. A nightly and morning ritual helps remind your body when it’s bedtime and when it’s time to wake up. Habitual activities, like brushing your teeth before bed and again in the morning, can help stimulate your internal clock and keep you snoozing at night, and rearing to go in the morning. Music therapy. Music has interesting effects on heart rate and mood. Relaxing music can clam you down, while upbeat music will amp up your energy and can even encourage the release of adrenaline! Try making two sound tracks of relaxing music for night, lively music for morning and playing them in the bathroom during your daily routine. As a bonus, brushing along to music can help keep you brushing for the recommended 2-3 minutes about the same time as a song. Mix it up. Every morning, you choose an outfit and a breakfast to fit your tastes that day, why should your toothpaste be any different? Venture beyond mint and pick up a few different flavors of toothpaste to choose from each morning. It’s a little way to add some fun into every morning, and some flavor to your oral health routine. Eat breakfast. It seems simple, but only 54 percent of American adults under age 55 make time for a morning meal. There’s a reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day. During sleep, the body essentially fasts, and most systems shut down. Breakfast helps wake your body up, and is especially helpful to metabolism, concentration, mood and energy level. It’s also an important part of maintaining a balanced diet, which helps keep your whole body, and your mouth, healthy and strong. Pick whole grains like toast, cereal or a bagel, and pair it with calcium-rich dairy products like plain yogurt, milk or cottage cheese. And don’t forget to brush afterward!


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