The new year is here and we are quickly coming to the end of January. New Year’s resolutions have been made, but have you been able to keep yours? A majority of us probably have lost site of those resolutions and figure there is always next year right!? Well, it’s not too late to start again, and why not make a dental New Year’s resolution! Your overall dental health not only affects your oral health, but can impact your general health as well. Healthy resolutions will keep your oral health in check. Below are some suggestions for making your smile a little healthier this year.
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables: Poor nutrition can affect your immune system, increasing the chance of getting some oral diseases such as periodontal (gum) disease. Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants that help improve your body’s ability to fight disease. Many fruits and vegetables that are crisp such as apples or celery help to clean plaque off your teeth and freshen your breath.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption: According to the Academy of General Dentistry, excessive smoking, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol use increases the susceptibility of gum recession. This is otherwise known as periodontal pocketing. Not only can excessive alcohol consumption cause oral problems, but it can be damaging to your general health as well.
- Quit Smoking or Using Tobacco Products: The use of tobacco can harm your mouth in several ways including tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum and throat disease, and lung and oral cancer. Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers. Use of smokeless tobacco is just as harmful to your health. However, the risk of tooth loss decreases when you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.
- Brush Twice a Day and Floss Daily: Brushing and flossing are equally important for your oral health. These habits help protect your teeth from tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the colorless sticky plaque made up of bacteria and builds up on your teeth everyday. Only flossing can remove the plaque that builds up between your teeth which is the area most decay starts. Using a daily mouth rinse that contains fluoride and chewing sugar free gum after a meal are also ways to keep the bacteria inside your mouth at bay. So remember, Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew!
- Routine Dental Checkups: Seeing your dentist twice a year can help to catch problems early and prevent dental health problems before they cause discomfort or
become a bigger issue that leads to expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your overall dental health and keep watch for areas of concern.
For the new year, resolve to treat your mouth the right way and improve your overall health as well. Your body and your mouth will be saying THANK YOU! Best of lucky from your Idaho Falls dentist!