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A healthy body starts with a healthy mouth. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is an easy way to stay healthy. Research has shown that poor oral hygiene is linked to a number of health conditions like heart disease and liver problems. Here are some easy tips from dentist Seth Keiles to add to your regular dental routine to keep your mouth in top condition.

no dairy symbol1. Ditch the dairy.

Milk products can change the acidity in your mouth, creating an environment that favors an overgrowth of bacteria.

2. Tone up your tongue. 

Use a tongue brush or separate, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your tongue, making sure to brush the back close to the throat to clean away the most bacteria.

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Hot Topic Gone Viral: Oil Pulling for Teeth Whitening?

Even though an ancient health remedy, Oil pulling has returned, transforming into a beauty & wellness topic that has gone viral today.

What is it? How does it affect your smile? Will it whiten teeth? Below, please find expert commentary from leading cosmetic dentist Dr. Jessica Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft Chicago. www.sugarfixdental.com

There is nothing more splendid and virtuous then unrefined coconut oil. It is a hot topic now coming back from the ancient days of tradition. 'Oil pulling' is a technique used to clean your teeth and mouth. You place a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish with it for up to 20 minutes. When finished make sure you spit into a trash can and not the sink as it can clog the pipes.

People swear by it, that it can fill cavities, relieve toothaches, whiten teeth, freshen breath, absorb harmful bacteria and even say it cures the common cold. From a dentist's perspective, tooth decay is caused by bacteria and studies suggest that coconut oil treated with enzymes (which is like the process that occurs when you have oil in your mouth), the enzymes in your saliva break down. It seems to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. So a good thing. Patients that have oil pulled have said that they 'love how their mouth feels after swishing and that it lasts all day". They also say that tooth pain is not gone but better. Makes sense to me as we use Vitamin E oil to sooth the gums and clove oil to sooth tooth aches. They work. I have not tried oil pulling personally but think I may jump on the bandwagon to see for myself. No solid proof that it works but it certainly makes people feel better. Your cheeks may get tired but I say 'swish away'.

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