If you’re like millions of others, you’ve probably made a few new year’s health resolutions. From losing weight to managing your diabetes to taking better care of your skin, you’re on a path to a better you. But what about your smile? Your teeth and gums say a lot about who you are, so why not give it top-notch treatment? Let this article explain a few things you can do to make your oral health a priority this next year.
Make an Appointment with Your Dentist
Your dentist is your friend. As an ally in the fight against decay and disease, he will work to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and free from any abnormalities or problems while your hygienist will remove harmful plaque and tartar and have you leaving with a clean and refreshed smile. By scheduling your six-month appointments and keeping them, you will be taking proactive measures to improve your dental health – a step that can save you money, time, and lots of pain in the future.
Make Flossing a Part of Your Normal Routine
Brushing and rinsing aren’t enough when trying to remove harmful bacteria and food particles from your teeth. Flossing is the key to effectively keeping your smile clean in its entirety. The areas between your teeth can easily trap objects that can lead to tooth decay or cavities, which is why it’s important to floss using a proper technique, so as to prevent damage to your soft tissues. If you’re unsure how to do this correctly, simply ask your dentist during your next visit.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is a cavity’s best friend, and when you choose to consume too much of it, bacteria will begin to feed off the sugar, causing it to spread and break down your tooth enamel. This leads to cavity development, and before you know it, you’ll need a filling to keep your tooth intact. In order to prevent this from happening, cut back on the items you buy that contain sugar. If it’s not in the house, you won’t be able to eat it, so be mindful when shopping for groceries and opt for healthier alternatives (i.e. water, fruits, vegetables).
Say “No” to Smoking
It’s no secret that smoking is harmful to your health, so if you use tobacco products of any kind, now is the time to quit. Not only does it negatively affect your lungs and other areas of your body, but it also increases your risk for gum disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that smoking doubles your chances of developing periodontal disease (gum disease). If you are struggling to beat your cravings, talk to a doctor about tools you can use to curb your addiction.
Embrace Healthier Foods
Your teeth will benefit from a healthier diet. Nutrient-rich foods can not only scrub away plaque and other foods but also strengthen tooth enamel. Dairy products (i.e. yogurt, cheese), lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and fish are great alternatives to the unhealthy sugars and starches that are often found in fast food and other similar “junk foods.”
It’s not always easy starting something new, but if you stick to it and take it one day at a time, you’ll notice a dramatic difference in your smile in no time.