The new year is fast approaching and it may be time to start thinking about what your New Year's Resolutions should be. These usually include losing weight, striving for a better job, or maybe even just being a better friend or partner. Many people also set new goals for leading a healthier life going forward. So why not make some New Year’s resolutions regarding your dental health?
Making dental health resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and studies have shown it can keep your entire body healthy as well.
Dental Health New Year’s Resolutions
Eat A Well Balanced Diet including Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a well balanced diet is important for your dental health. If your body is not getting its proper nutrition it can affect your entire immune system. Poor nutrition, increases susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation. Healthy eating helps to protect your teeth and gum tissues. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery can actually help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath as well.
Quit Smoking or Using Other Tobacco Products
Using tobacco has been proven to be bad for your dental health as well as your general health. Some of the dental issues associated with smoking include:
-Increased risk for cancer. This includes oral cancer as well throat, lung, and other systemic cancers.
People who smoke are almost twice as likely to lose their teeth as non smokers. It is not just smoking tobacco that has negative effects on your oral health: use of smokeless tobacco can be just as damaging to your dental health. The good news is, that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.
Use Alcohol in Moderation
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 dental health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who use tobacco products, are more likely to maintain poor nutrition. Drinking excessive alcohol also increases gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Studies show that smokers who regularly drink alcohol are less likely to brush and floss their teeth regularly and are less concerned about their basic health than non smokers.
Improve Dental Hygiene: Brush and Floss Regularly
Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from tooth decay and periodontal disease. These are caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque. Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health. Studies have shown that only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gum line,areas where tooth decay and periodontal disease begins.
Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums and gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease and is reversible. If untreated it will worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums and, eventually, advanced periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to your general health, therefore, it is doubly important to maintain good dental health at all times.
See Your Dentist for Regular Examinations and Cleanings
By seeing your dentist at least twice a year for dental examinations and cleanings, you can help prevent any dental health issues before they cause pain or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to keep track of your oral health and recommend an individualized dental hygiene maintenance regimen to address areas of concern.
Happy New Year!!
For the new year and for years to come you should resolve to improve your health, dental hygiene habits, quit smoking, drink in moderation, and improve your overall diet. Your teeth and body, and loved ones will thank you for it for many years to come! Bring in the new year with a smile!
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