Many Americans have the same idea every year for their New Year's resolution, to lose weight. Every January, gyms across the country become crowded with newly motivated individuals wanting to shed some pounds. Some may reach success this way, but fitness center traffic slows down by the time Valentine's Day arrives.
This year, try a new, but still healthy resolution. Dental health care is a practice that is simple and can create an excellent result. Below are some ways to improve your oral health and are easier to stay with than that gym membership:
A healthy diet is important for maintaining good dental health. Nutrients in fruits, vegetables, dairy products and whole grains strengthen teeth and fight bacteria that cause gum disease. Make a point this year to incorporate more tooth-healthy foods in your daily diet.
Control your sweet tooth
Sugary snacks and beverages are your teeth’s worst enemy. When sugars are broken down in your mouth, they produce acids that wear away your enamel and cause tooth decay. Make it a goal this year to limit your intake of sweets, for your health and your teeth!
Quit using tobacco products
Tobacco use can cause all kinds of oral health problems, including:
- Bad breath
- Stained teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Oral cancer
If you currently use tobacco, consider quitting this year. Instead, try out a healthier habit, like chewing sugar free gum, which stimulates the flow of saliva that washes away bacteria.
Brush and floss regularly
Brushing and flossing your teeth are the first line of defense against oral health complications. If you don’t brush and floss as recommended, plaque can develop on and between teeth causing decay and gum disease, which can in turn lead to other health problems like heart disease. Dentists recommend brushing twice and flossing once each day. If your dental hygiene habits are lacking, step up your game in 2015 by brushing and flossing regularly.
Check in with your dentist
Your dentist knows best when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy. Scheduling regular checkups allows your dentist to monitor your dental health and address any concerns before they become bigger problems. Visiting your dentist every six months is the best way to ensure a clean bill of dental health, so this year, schedule regular appointments and keep your mouth in good shape.
You owe a lot to those teeth and gums of yours. Do them a favor this New Year by practicing excellent dental health habits and smile big in 2015!