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How Your Dentist Can Help You Lose Weight

Updated on August 11, 2018
CWanamaker profile image

Chris enjoys writing about a variety of topics including science, health, and fitness.

Did you know that your dentist could actually help you lose weight? Although a dentist’s primary job is to maintain the overall health of your mouth, they play an active role in seeing that you eat healthily and take care of your teeth. Eating unhealthy foods is one of primary reasons for poor oral health. Whenever you eat a meal or a snack, one of the first things that the food touches is your teeth. In fact, your teeth (and mouth) are actually part of the body’s digestive system and can have a significant impact on your weight.

If you were to focus your attention on to maintaining optimum oral health, there are a number of reasons why this could also result in weight loss and improved eating habits. By leveraging your dentist's expertise and striving for oral excellence you can find ways to promote weight loss as well as your physical wellbeing.

Having cavities and other dental problems can have a significant effect on your life. Undergoing an operation to reconstruct or rebuilt your teeth can be painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. And if the fear of getting dental work isn't bad enough, as a patient you will also have to deal with complicated insurance paperwork and potentially expensive dental bills. Some dental operations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. By avoiding foods that corrode teeth, you can avoid these potential issues while also losing weight and learning to eat healthier.

Resist Getting Your Teeth Dirty

For example, one of the best ways to have clean, healthy teeth is to resist getting them “dirty” in the first place. Throughout the day your teeth will accumulate food particles, plaque, and bacteria as you consume food and drink. It follows then that if you limited or reduced the number of meals or the amount of food that you ate, your oral health would improve. In addition to promoting healthy teeth and gums, a reduction in food consumption can also promote improved physical health and weight loss. If you simply focus on maintaining a "clean" mouth, this can be impetus that you need to start eating and living healthier.

One technique that can be employed in this regard is to brush your teeth soon after finishing a meal. This will discourage you from eating unnecessarily before your next meal. One of my friends uses this technique to help prevent himself from succumbing to the temptation to partake in afternoon and late night snacks. He brings a toothbrush as well as toothpaste to work and is sure to clean his mouth after eating lunch. Once he has brushed his teeth, he will refuse to eat anything else until he either becomes very hungry or it becomes time to have a family dinner. You could easily use this technique to help promote active weight loss just as my friend has.

Using Teeth to Avoid Sugar

It's also well known that sugary foods and drinks are a major contributor to both obesity and poor oral health. Reducing or eliminating foods that are rich in sugar is something every dentist and doctor can get behind. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to improve the health of your teeth (or perhaps to reduce your dental bills as well), then eliminating sugar is a great way to get started. To get started with this technique all you need to do is simply tell yourself that eating too much sugar it's going to ruin your teeth as well as your waistline. If your teeth begin to suffer degradation from sugar consumption, then your dentist may have to give you some bad news on your next visit. In a way, your dentist is helping to keep you accountable for your actions.

Braces Can Do More Than Straighten Teeth

If you are lucky enough to be someone will have to have braces, then you understand how difficult it can be to keep your teeth clean. In some cases, keeping your braces clean can be so challenging that it can help you to avoid eating altogether. I had another friend who always complained about having to clean her braces so she did whatever she could to avoid it. This usually meant that eating excessively or snacking was not something that she wanted to do. In addition, she learned to stay away from several types of foods that were difficult to clean from her braces. By putting emphasis on maintaining the health of her teeth, she was also able to maintain a healthy weight by consuming less food.

By shifting your focus from losing weight to maintaining a healthy mouth and clean braces, you can actually achieve both goals at the same time. You can use your braces as a method to promote overall physical health in addition to just oral health. If you employ this tactic, your dentist and orthodontist as well as the scale and your wallet will be much happier that you’ve learned to maintain a healthier diet.

© 2018 Christopher Wanamaker

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    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 

      8 months ago from Canada

      Chris---Very interesting and actually less talked about connection between maintenance of healthy teeth and weight. So much truth in it, indeed.

      However, it would be nice if other unhealthy factors wouldn't play a role there. Like, we could have perfect teeth but be emotional eaters reaching for food when we are bored, upset, depressed, anxious, worried, etc., which would affect our weight.

      Nevertheless you are making a great point, and eating wrong, sugary foods, or not brushing after using apple cider vinegar---which corrodes the teeth enamel---plus all other teeth-unfriendly habits certainly affect our health and weight.

      I enjoyed reading it.

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