(NEW YORK) -- Everyone knows taking good care of your mouth, from daily brushing to frequent flossing, helps refresh your breath and protect your gums, but it can help save your heart too.
New studies show that having gum disease can quadruple your risk of stroke and spike your risk of a heart attack up to a dozen times higher by releasing plaque-causing bacteria into your bloodstream.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show, visited ABC's Good Morning America on Monday and offered some tips on how to keep your teeth -- and heart -- healthy:
-- Brush your teeth for a full two minutes every day.
-- Be careful not to brush too hard, and pick a soft-bristled brush with tapered tips.
-- Make sure your toothpaste does not contain triclosan or sodium lauryl sulfate as ingredients.
-- Reach for a natural mouthwash that is both alcohol- and sugar-free.
-- Chewing sugarless gum and mints is a great way to help protect your teeth against enamel decay, but make sure what you chew is sugarless in order to prevent tooth decay.
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