As we just got into the New Year, you probably have many options for New Year’s resolutions–things you would like to accomplish or achieve in 2015. Maybe you’d like to save more money, lose weight or get a better job. One of the resolutions that many people make is to have a healthier lifestyle. How about improving your oral hygiene and having a healthier mouth?
You can do so many things including the ones listed below regarding your dental health that will give you a brighter and healthier smile in the coming year.
MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
One of the most important things that you can do to improve your dental health is to eat healthy. If you have poor nutrition, not only will your immune system be affected, but you will also be susceptible to various common oral disorders that include periodontal or gum disease. Nuts, legumes, vegetables and myths about cataracts contain nutrients and antioxidants that improve your body’s resistance to fight bacteria, inflammation and help protect your gums and teeth. There are even foods that can freshen your breath and clean away plaque such as celery, apples, carrots and other raw vegetables, and crisp fruits.
AVOID SMOKING OR USING TOBACCO PRODUCTS
The use of tobacco products can cause discoloration of teeth, build-up of cavities, recession of gums, throat and gum disease, and oral cancers. Smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers, according to a recent study. The use of smokeless tobacco or a tobacco gum is also harmful. Quitting smoking and avoiding the use of tobacco products will significantly reduce the risk of tooth loss.
BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY
With regular brushing and flossing, you will protect your teeth from gum disease and tooth decay. When you don’t do it on a regular basis, plaque will build up which is a colorless, sticky film that bacteria feeds off. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, both brushing and flossing of teeth are equally important for the maintenance of good dental health. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Flossing is vital to your oral health because it removes the plaque that forms between teeth and below the gumline where gum disease and decay often begins.
Brushing and flossing also stimulates gums, keeping them healthy and pink, and is one of the main ways of preventing bleeding gums from worsening into more advanced gum disease. Gingivitis when left untreated will lead to a more serious periodontal disease which can negatively affect the underlying bone and eventually lead to tooth, gum and bone loss.
Studies have also shown that bacteria from the mouth can affect the lungs and heart and has been linked to heart disease, premature birth and underweight babies.
If you have any concerns about your oral health, or would like to learn about how we can help you achieve your New Year’s resolution for a great smile in 2015, call our office and book your consultation today.