When "Happy Days'" Ralph Malph — aka "Mouth" — bragged that his teeth were so straight folks thought he was a movie star, he ID'd one of the perks of a great smile. But there are even more benefits! A healthy mouth gives you a younger MouthAge (just like you can have a younger RealAge!). And it means you're helping make sure you avoid cognitive problems, diabetes and heart disease, as well as tooth decay.
But if you live in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City or Tampa, Fla., you want to pay special attention to your dental health, because those cities came in with the country's oldest MouthAge in RealAge's 2013 Top Youngest and Oldest Cities. For more details on the Smile Report (see where your city ranks), check out sharecare.com/smiles. To take the MouthAge test go to sharecare.com/mouthage.
You know you should brush twice a day, floss once a day and see your dental health professional every six months. But here are more ways to stay healthy and keep that beautiful smile!
1. Eat a tooth-friendly diet: Canned salmon, almonds and dark leafy greens are loaded with tooth-building calcium.
2. Take 1,000 IU of vitamin D-3 a day (D helps build strong teeth), until you get your blood level measured; then take the amount that's right for you.
3. Drink tea. It's got natural fluoride to help prevent cavities.
4. Avoid foods and drinks with added sugars or sugar syrups — not only does sugar decay teeth, it contributes to obesity, which is associated with dental problems.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Dr. Michael Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.sharecare.com.