With the new year officially among us, everyone is making resolutions of some sort. Many people set new goals of having a healthier lifestyle, but have you ever considered that your oral health can contribute to your overall wellness? It does, and it shouldn’t be ignored. So why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions toward improving your dental health?
Here are some of simple ways you can achieve a healthier smile this year and for many more to come:
- Make Better Eating Choices
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.
Grapes, potatoes, and shrimp are some examples of foods that contain a natural mineral known as fluoride, which is important for healthy teeth and gums. This mineral helps strengthen teeth, fights sensitivity, and can even reverse early signs of enamel demineralization
- Stop Using Tobacco Products
Tobacco products cause stained teeth, tooth loss, and oral cancer. The sooner you can stop smoking or using tobacco products, the closer you’ll be to achieving a healthier lifestyle.
- Cut Down on Sugary, Acidic Foods and Drinks (and Alcohol)
Sugary and acidic foods or drinks like sodas, coffee, wine, and citrus fruits are harsh on your teeth and can cause decay. Be mindful to limit the intake of these food items. When consuming them, it’s best to do it within a short window of time instead of sip on them all day long. Also, rinse your mouth out with water afterward. This will give your mouth the best chance to return to its normal pH level and not stay in that acidic state where bad things happen.
- Brush And Floss Every Day
Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health.
Brushing should be done after every meal or at the very least, two times a day. Don’t just brush in the morning to have fresh breath. Brushing after meals removes the plaque that sticks to your teeth after eating. And brushing before bed will prevent the bacteria in your mouth from irritating your gums or causing further enamel erosion (not to mention bad morning breath.)
Investing in an electric toothbrush is also beneficial, as you’ll notice a big difference in the cleanliness of your teeth. When brushing, be sure to pay attention to what you’re doing. Thoroughly clean every surface of each tooth. It should take you at least two full minutes to brush your entire mouth.
Flossing removes the plaque from between your teeth and below the gumline, where brushing alone can’t reach. With a regular brushing and flossing routine, you’ll be more likely to combat tooth decay and gum disease. The infections that cause gum disease can enter your blood stream and contribute to liver disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Not a fan of flossing? Find it too difficult to do? Using a water flosser can help make things easier. A water flosser is a countertop device that consists of a handle, slip pointed tip, and a water reservoir or tubing that hooks to a water source. Simply point the tip between your teeth and push a button to release a pressurized spray of water to flush all of the bacteria away from between your teeth.
When you’re on the go it’s easy to put your oral healthcare on the back burner, so be prepared by keeping a small hygiene pack with you. Fill it with oral care products like a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss picks, mouthwash, and sugar free gum. You could even have several packs and keep them in your desk, locker, purse, briefcase, or glove compartment.
- See Your Dentist For Regular Checkups
Did you know that a lot of dental conditions can be caught early and fixed easily if you visit the dentist regularly? Having pain in a tooth is an indication that you’ve waited too long. Be sure to schedule a checkup every six months for a thorough cleaning and examination of your mouth.
Make A Commitment To Have Better Teeth
Now that you’ve learned some ways to have a healthier smile, go ahead and take charge by creating new daily habits. Practice makes perfect!
Of course, we’re always here to help. Call to schedule your first appointment of the year. Dr. Vinh Huynh and the friendly team of Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ looks forward to seeing you!