Whether it’s eating more mindfully, logging a few extra hours at the gym, or even improving our sleep cycles, we often set health-centered resolutions for the New Year. When considering ways to improve your overall health in 2018, why not improve your oral health, too?
Here are four ways you can boost your mouth’s health in the New Year:
1. Fit flossing into your daily routine.
To prevent cavities and gum disease, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing once a day. Flossing combats the growth of plaque, a bacteria-filled film that eats away at leftover food in your mouth and damages your teeth’s outer shell. While brushing your teeth regularly is a great way to fight plaque, flossing can help nab the bacteria that toothbrush bristles can’t reach.
Make it happen: To keep up with this resolution, try setting a reminder on your phone to repeat daily during your nightly routine. If you’re having trouble getting between those hard-to-reach teeth, check out the ADA’s Five Steps to a Flawless Floss.
2. Don’t smoke!
In a December article focused on setting meaningful resolutions, the New York Times recommended snuffing out your cigarettes for good in 2018. Smoking can cause a variety of severe health problems, including lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. It can also cause a variety of severe problems for your mouth, including oral cancer, gum disease, and a dulled sense of taste and smell.
Make it happen: For extra information on how to quit smoking, the CDC has compiled tips from former smokers to ease the process. More information is also available at smokefree.gov.
3. Decrease your sugar intake.
While consuming less sugar is often part of our dietary resolutions, it’s also a great way to improve oral health. A study published in BMC Public Health in September 2014 confirmed a direct link between a person’s sugar intake and their levels of tooth decay. Reducing the amount of sugar you eat can help prevent tooth decay from occurring.
Make it happen: Because sugar cravings can be hard to kick, try making substitutions. For example, drink sugar-free seltzer water instead of soda or chew sugar-free gum to satisfy your sweet tooth.
4. Schedule a dentist appointment.
Finally, make sure to stop by your family dentist’s office for a regular check-up. About one-third of Americans fail to see a dentist each year; that’s almost 100 million people!
Make it happen: Our dentists can offer professional advice on improving your oral health, and make sure your smile shines its brightest in 2018! We are excited to work with you in the New Year and hope to see you at one of our five North Carolina locations soon.