Welcome to 2021! New Year Resolutions normally center around setting goals and resolutions on eating healthier, exercising more often, forming better habits in general, and spending more time with family. Well, how about setting goals to improve your oral health?
Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way towards giving you a brighter, healthier smile.
Eat Healthy Foods
Maybe you’re already setting a new year’s resolution to eat healthier. If so, you’re also helping to improve your dental health. Foods that are good for your teeth include dairy products and fibrous foods. Reducing the consumption of sugary foods and drinks will help prevent cavities and tooth/gum decay. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
Quit Smoking or Using Other Tobacco Products
Stop tobacco use. Discontinue cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco to improve overall health. Using tobacco can harm your mouth in a number of ways, increasing your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and throat, lung and oral cancer. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. It’s not just smoking tobacco that has negative effects on your oral health: use of smokeless tobacco can be just as harmful to your oral health. The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health, but did you know that it may also affect your oral health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who smoke, eat poorly and consume excessive alcohol also have increased gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Their studies show that smokers who regularly consume alcohol are less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis and are less concerned about their basic health than nonsmokers.
Remember to floss
Only 40% of American adults floss every day, and 20% don’t floss at all! If you find yourself in either of those groups, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to change your habits and start on the right foot. Pick up some floss at your local grocery store or drugstore… maybe while you’re out grabbing some bubbly to ring in the New Year!
Work on your brushing habits
first thing’s first! If you’re not already following the ADA recommended “two-times-two” method (that is, brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each), it’s time to start! If you’re in the 70% of Americans who do, it can’t hurt to review your brushing technique.
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
The new year is the perfect time to complete recommended dental work. Crowns, implants, and fillings help preserve tooth structure and maintain proper tooth alignment.
Teeth grinding can be caused by stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or are out of alignment. Symptoms include dull headaches, jaw soreness, painful teeth, or fractured tooth surfaces. If you’re concerned about teeth grinding, ask your dentist about solutions.
You should go at least twice a year, don’t fall into the group that didn’t visit at all! Your teeth will thank you, especially since regular cleanings, checkups and screenings can help prevent more serious conditions down the road.
Call us today to schedule your appointment 281-358-6330 Green Oak Dental Kingwood, Texas