We all make New Year’s resolutions—a healthier body, healthier mind, but what about healthier teeth? If better oral health is on your New Year’s to-do list, we have a few tips to make your resolutions stick, for a healthier year.
Schedule Regular Dentist Visits for Healthier Teeth
Dentists recommend visiting your local dental office every 6 months. Since January is the first month out of the year, it would be a great time to schedule your next visit. If it’s been a while since you last stepped foot in a dentist’s office, you’re not alone. According to the ADA, about one third of Americans don’t see a dentist regularly, and this poor habit can lead to poor oral hygiene. After your next visit, make sure you schedule a follow-up appointment on your way out so you can stay in a routine, and up-to-date on your visits.
Start a Flossing Regimen
Flossing isn’t everyone’s favorite topic, but it really is an important habit. Brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough to rid your mouth of the plaque that can cause cavities. If you’re not already flossing regularly, the new year is a great time to start a flossing regimen. A great way to start a flossing routine is to place your floss directly next to your toothbrush, so you have to see it every time you brush your teeth. After lunch is a great time to floss, and you can continue your habit by keeping floss in your purse or at your desk at work.
Studies show a direct link between sugar consumption and the amount of tooth decay a person has. It’s true, sugar is a leading factor in tooth decay and limiting sugar in your diet can cut back your risks significantly. The easiest way to cut back on sugar is to make small swaps in your diet. For instance, instead of indulging in your favorite soft drink, opt for a flavored seltzer water. It has the same carbonation, without the processed sugar. If you are craving something sweet, pick up a pack of sugar-free gum.
Kick Nasty Habits
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking doubles your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you’re hoping to have healthier teeth, it starts with your gums. Quitting a smoking habit can be challenging, and if you need help it never hurts to reach out to your general health practitioner.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet plays an important role in physical health as well as oral health. If you’re cutting back on processed sugars, it’s important to supplement with leafy greens and dairy products. Dairy products, like milk, are high in calcium which is a major building block for tooth enamel. Fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables help scrub away bacteria and plaque.
Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be hard. Committing to regular dentist visits, brushing your teeth, flossing, and making some diet changes can make a big difference in your oral health. Looking for healthier teeth and a brighter smile? Contact LeCroy Dental today.