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Unveiling the Fascinating Link - how gum health impacts heart disease risk

Why oral care? Proper oral hygiene is an uncomplicated, quick way to boost your confidence and improve your holistic wellness.

How you care for your teeth impacts the health and brilliance of your smile — 
the first thing most people notice when meeting someone. Numerous studies prove that smiling boosts your mood and immune system, and if you’re hiding your smile from the world, you’re missing opportunities to improve your emotional and mental well-being.

Equally as impactful is the oral microbiome; many people don’t understand the powerful connection between the mouth and the rest of the body. The bacteria in your mouth can support healthy brain function, or cause a slew of life-threatening diseases and cancers. If you want to live a long, fulfilling life, I cannot overstate how important it is to care for your mouth.

Here it is: My daily 4-minute morning routine

It can be easy to exaggerate how time intensive self-care is. Many people assume self-care has to look like an hour-long yoga session, a complete revamp to your diet, or a 90-minute trip to the gym. 

But the reality is this: Just four minutes can change your life. Here’s how. 

0:00 to 1:00 — Floss and rinse: I start my ritual with flossing. This loosens up anything stuck in between the teeth or around the gumline. Rinsing helps wash away that build-up.

1:00 to 3:00 — Brush: I always brush for the full two minutes. As an oral surgeon, 
of course I’m going to advise you to do the same. Not only does this clean my teeth, but I start every day with fresh breath and a smile I’m proud to show off. It makes me feel more comfortable when I smile, and dramatically impacts my mood and confidence.

I approach brushing my teeth with a focus on attention to detail. Our teeth are not perfect shapes, and cleaning each surface of every tooth requires focus. I treat this as a mindfulness practice, and don’t rush through it.

3:00 to 3:30 – Rise and mouthwash: After brushing, I rinse with water and follow that up with a good mouthwash. This is my sworn antidote to bad breath.

3:30 to 4:00 – Smile: This last minute may be the most important, and it’s something most people skip. Before I step out of the bathroom, I look at my smile in the mirror — first with an open mouth, and then again with a closed mouth. I ensure there’s nothing stuck between my teeth, and check how fresh my breath is.

I end by smiling in the mirror. This is a joyful end to my ritual, and releases 
mood-boosting endorphins that I carry with me into my morning.

Tips for starting my 4-minute healthy (and happy) routine

  • Remember, it’s only four minutes. Most of us spend at least four minutes each morning scrolling through our phones. Those four minutes don’t change your life; these four minutes will. 
  • Track your progress. Use an app or an old-school paper checklist and reward yourself every morning by ticking the box. You’ll create positive momentum first thing in your day.
  • Use a timer. If your toothbrush doesn't have a built-in timer, use a timer on your phone. Two minutes goes by faster than you think.
  • Remind yourself that you’re worth four minutes. When life is busy, many of us take less time for ourselves. But these four minutes can prevent painful and even life-threatening issues down the road.
  • Be consistent. I always start my routine at the same time each morning — before my kids are awake. This habit helped me start this routine, and helps me maintain it.
  • Enjoy the process. To make it more enjoyable, I pop my headphones in and listen to two of my favorite songs.
  • Start now. Don’t wait for the start of a new week or a new month. Wake up tomorrow and begin creating your new oral care habit. A habit can take a few weeks to develop before it becomes automatic. But just like all your other daily routines, it will soon be cemented into your life.

Try my oral care challenge. Come back and let me know how it’s going — I genuinely want to know.


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