The benefits of laughing are no joke

by MikeMeehan 12/12/2018 9:07 AM

Holidays are a great time to spend with family, and laughing with relatives is one of the best parts of the season. Whether you’re barely giggling or totally cracking up, laughter can have positive effects on your oral and overall health. Read on to learn what a good laugh can do for you. Reduce your stress levels.  You might be stressed from the holiday bustle, and that can be bad news for your gums and teeth. Stress is a common cause of teeth grinding, which can damage your tooth enamel, make your jaw ache and more. Furthermore, it results in higher cortisol levels, increasing your risk for gum disease.  By lowering cortisol levels, laughter can help improve immune system functioning. It also activates and then releases your stress response, leaving you with a relaxed feeling and reduced tension. Act as a mild workout.  Surprisingly, laughing can mimic exercise by burning calories and increasing your heart rate. In a study conducted by Vanderbilt University, participants burned 50 calories after just 10 to 15 minutes of laughter. Plus, laughter releases endorphins and stimulates multiple parts of the body, including the heart, lungs and muscles. Sharing a snicker at the family table just might help you burn off some of those extra calories from dessert.  Boost pain tolerance.  By releasing endorphins, laughter can increase pain tolerance. Some research even suggests that patients who laugh a significant amount need less pain medication following surgery. If you’re experiencing a toothache, try watching a comedy to pass the time and ease your pain before your dental appointment. Get your giggle on this holiday season and you just might see some healthy rewards.  

How My Power Walk Turned into a Power Smile

by MikeMeehan 4/5/2017 4:00 PM

I was fortunate enough to get out for a hike, recently. And the whole time, I couldn’t stop smiling. Despite the burning muscles in my legs, the rustling trees, the blooming yellow flowers and the invigorating air, lifted my spirits and encouraged me to keep going. Power walking turned into a power smile. The connection between a walk and a smile Here at Delta Dental, we emphasize the link between oral health and overall health. So, we are happy to celebrate National Walking Day, this week, and bring attention to this connection. An unhealthy mouth can increase the risk of health problems. But a healthy mouth can keep you healthy and keep you walking. The Message of National Walking Day The American Heart Association sponsors National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 5, to remind us of the health benefits of walking. Research shows that walking at least 30 minutes a day has many benefits like reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your mental well-being. Whether you are walking, hiking, biking, or partaking in any exercise, your oral health can be a part of your overall healthy lifestyle choices. What to bring on your walk or hike Remember to pack a water bottle (hydration is good for the mouth), a smile-friendly apple for a snack, and sunglasses to protect your eyes. One good decision leads to another I can’t take credit for having the willpower to get out there for a power walk; it was an invitation from a friend that encouraged me. But the decision to go, led to another decision to eat salad this week for lunch, and another decision to plan to hike again in a few weeks. It led me to find more hiking and walking trails near me. It gave me energy to make other healthy choices. And those healthy lifestyle choices include good oral health habits. We say “Good health starts here.” So good health starts with a healthy smile and one foot in front of the other.  

Exercise: The Path to Your Fountain of Youth

by Jason 9/9/2014 8:30 AM

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’re as young as you feel?” If you find yourself feeling your age, it might be time to get active! Starting and maintaining an active schedule can contribute to healthier bones, a healthier body and a healthier smile. Healthier Bones    Your bones are more important than you might think. Not only do they structurally support your body, but they also keep your internal organs safe and store necessary minerals, among other functions. As you age, osteoporosis becomes a greater threat than it was in your younger years. The condition causes bones to become increasingly porous, weak and brittle, which can put you at greater risk for a fracture. Luckily, exercise done properly can help rebuild bone. Healthier Body The hype is real. Exercising truly does help your body function properly. In addition to helping you feel better, regular activity can help protect you from developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Healthier Smile Lack of physical activity is a risk factor for obesity, a disease known to cause dental health problems. In addition, physical activity may decrease your chances of having gum disease. Follow these three tips for starting your new exercise routine:  Visit a doctor. The first step to a successful exercise routine is getting the okay from your doctor. Start slow. Find a walking buddy and do one lap around the local track. Slowly increase your distance, as your body gets stronger. And, walk on your own whenever possible during the course of your day. Find physical activities that are fun for you. Look for activities that you can enjoy – like gardening, biking, swimming or dancing – to name just a few. And, have fun exploring new activities as you incorporate exercise into your daily routine and begin reaping the healthy benefits.

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