Now that the new year has officially arrived, it’s time to sit down and clearly define the things you’d like to change or improve in the 365 days that lie ahead. While we are are often motivated to improve our health, well-being and overall physical appearance (especially at the beginning of a fresh, new year), one thing people often fail to include on this list of things to accomplish is improving oral health and hygiene.
Even if you follow all of your dentists’ recommended oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily, flossing and visiting the dentist twice a year for routine checkups, there are several other, perhaps less obvious ways you can start improving the overall health and appearance of your mouth. Here are four tips to help get you started!1, 2, 3
• Incorporate more healthy foods and beverages into your diet. When people think about the effects of eating unhealthy or innutritious foods, they typically only think about the effect it has on their weight, physical appearance, heart, cholesterol, etc. and often fail to consider the damage poor nutrition can have on their dental health. Eating poorly not only adversely affects your immune system, making you more prone to illness and infection, it also increases your risk of developing periodontitis, or gum disease.
Incorporating nutrient and antioxidant-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables (especially leafy green veggies), nuts and legumes into your diet will help protect your teeth and gums while simultaneously improving your body’s ability to ward off bacteria and inflammation. Eating crisp fruits like apples and raw vegetable such as carrots and celery will also help reduce plaque buildup while naturally freshening your breath.
• Limit your sugar intake. Recent studies have confirmed a direct correlation between sugar intake and tooth decay (i.e. the more sugar one consumes, the more extensive his or her tooth decay will be). Make an honest effort to consume fewer sugary drinks and treats, and opt for sugar-free options whenever possible. Not only will your teeth appreciate it, your waistline will as well!
• Cut back on alcohol consumption. We all know that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol is bad for our body and overall health, but many of us underestimate the damage it can inflict on our teeth. Not only are alcoholic beverages loaded with sugar, they can easily stain your teeth (especially red wine) and can lead to dehydration – an often overlooked side-effect of imbibing that enables bacteria to cling onto your teeth’s enamel and ultimately increases your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
• Kick your smoking habit to the curb. It’s no secret that smoking and using tobacco products is bad for our health. If this is a habit you’ve been trying to ditch for years, there’s no better time than the start of a new year to try and accomplish this goal once and for all. In addition to staining your teeth, using tobacco products significantly increases your risk of gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer, not to mention all the other negative effects this habit has on every other part and system within your body.
Let Gasser Dental Help You Achieve Optimal Oral Health
As mentioned earlier, one of the keys to checking “improve oral health and hygiene” off your list of New Year’s resolutions is scheduling routine dental checkups at least twice a year. The team of friendly, experienced dental experts at Gasser Dental are committed to helping you achieve the healthy, radiant smile you deserve, and look forward to being your partner on your journey toward better oral health.
For more tips to help improve your dental health or to schedule your recommended biannual dental checkup, contact us today!