Taking good care of your chompers has unexpected links to longevity, because dental hygiene may actually have benefits for your heart. “Periodontal bacteria have been found in diseased arteries, and in the plaque deposited within these arteries,” says Sanda Moldovan, DDS, a Beverly Hills periodontist. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed women with gum disease had a 12 percent higher risk of premature death. “Keep periodontal disease away through good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing,” Dr. Moldovan says. “Medical opinions out there say it could add 18 months to six years to one’s life.” On the flip side, quit these 15 “healthy” habits that really aren’t good for you.
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Frequent romps in the hay have the potential to add on a few years to your life. “If you are able to achieve orgasm during sexual intercourse, you will reap the benefits of the feel-good hormone oxytocin as it is released,” says Shanna Levine, MD, a primary care physician at Mount Sinai. In one study, mortality risk was 50 percent lower in those who had frequent orgasms; for men, orgasms have also been associated with lower prostate cancer risk. Plus, studies show those in happy marriages (which sex is usually part of) tend to live longer. “We know that positive and healthy relationships improve physical and emotional health,” Dr. Levine says.