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Step Up Your Oral Health: The Benefits of Walking

Step Up Your Oral Health: The Benefits of Walking

Spend too much time sitting? Try taking a walk. It’s no secret that a sedentary lifestyle is bad news for your health, but did you know it also extends to your oral health? Here’s why hitting the pavement is a great idea for your teeth and gums.

Curb your sugar cravings

We all get those urges to snack on something sweet, but indulging too often can be a disaster for our teeth. Walking helps reduce these cravings. When you’re active, your body uses energy more efficiently, and suddenly, those sugary snacks aren’t as appealing. By choosing to walk, you’re not just burning calories; you’re also fighting off the temptation to reach for a candy bar, protecting your teeth from potential cavities.

Boost your immune system

A robust immune system is your body’s best defense against infections, including those that can affect your gums. Regular walking increases blood circulation, which in turn helps your body to more effectively distribute the nutrients it needs to keep your immune system strong. This means a healthier you and a lower chance of developing gum disease.

Feel less stressed

Stress can wreak havoc on your entire body, including your mouth. When stressed, many of us are guilty of neglecting our oral hygiene routine or engaging in harmful habits like grinding our teeth. Walking is a fantastic stress reliever. It triggers the release of endorphins, your body’s natural mood elevators, helping you feel more relaxed and less likely to neglect your oral health or resort to teeth-damaging habits.

Improves saliva flow

Walking isn’t just about moving your legs; it gets your saliva flowing too. Saliva is essential in washing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. More movement means more saliva and a cleaner, healthier mouth.

Enhances jawbone health

Believe it or not, walking can also benefit your jawbone. The gentle rhythmic action of walking stimulates blood flow throughout your body, including your jaw area. This increased circulation helps keep your jawbone strong and healthy, which is vital for supporting your teeth and preventing tooth loss.

Walking is an excellent complement to any workout routine, striking the perfect balance between simplicity and effectiveness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly for optimal health.

Incorporating walking into your daily regimen is a simple yet effective way to boost both your oral health and overall mood. However, remember a few key tips to make the most out of your walks:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after your walks to keep your mouth moist and help prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Apply sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF 30+ rating before heading out. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, and your lips are no exception. Lip balm with SPF can prevent sunburns, reducing your risk of lip cancer.

Why not boost your oral health and mood by enjoying a leisurely walk? It’s a simple, effective, and enjoyable way to enhance your overall well-being.


“Acute Effects of Brisk Walking on Sugary Snack Cravings in Overweight People, Affect and Responses to a Manipulated Stress Situation and to a Sugary Snack Cue: A Crossover Study,” National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4356559/
“5 surprising benefits of walking,” Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking
“Walking Can Help Relieve Stress,” North Dakota State University, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2011/aug-8-2011/walking-can-help-relieve-stress/
“How much physical activity do adults need?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm