Connect Oral Health to Overall Wellness

by Joshua Allen, DMD, Owner & Dentist, Keep Smiling Family Dentistry

The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.

The key word here is “active.” If one is to attain a state of wellness, you must actively and consistently go after it.

There are six primary models of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental. With reference to each model, how can one actively pursue wellness as it relates to their oral health?

Physical: Brush and floss daily. Avoid snacking and limit acidic foods/sugary foods/beverages. Visiting the dentist regularly is a key component to maintaining good oral health and catching potential issues before they become an even bigger problem.

Mental: Learn why your oral health is important and the consequences of disregarding your oral health. Ask your dentist or hygienist how to achieve better outcomes and dental checkups.

Emotional: Be aware how the way you feel about your smile, your breath, etc. can affect your overall attitude and self-confidence. How do these things influence others?

Spiritual: Come up with your “why.” Your body is a temple, take care of it. Dedicating time to do a seemingly small task can have a big and lasting impact.

Social: Connect with groups of people focused on their own wellness. Chances are your dentist has a social media page, give them a like and a follow. Ask someone for accountability, preferably someone who lives with you and is willing to share a routine with you.

Environmental: Create a bathroom space that is inviting, clean and organized. Make it fun; play music or listen to a podcast. Display motivational quotes or words of encouragement to get you in the right headspace and remind you of your “why.”

These are just a few suggestions. Pick one area to focus on, and, once you’ve mastered that, pick up another. Incremental, positive changes over time can help you achieve true wellness and holistic health.