The New Year is almost here. That means responsible people have formed New Year’s resolutions or are scrambling to draw them up. Many focus on career, financial, or social goals. A very common subject for resolutions is health.
It might be to lose weight, to exercise more, or to be better at maintaining habits like going to the doctor’s rather than putting him or her off. But a crucial area of health often overlooked is…a healthy mouth. How could something so important go unaddressed by so many?
Keys to a New Year’s Smile
What’s nice about a resolution to improve your smile is that a lot of it is “two-birds with one stone.” Meaning, many generally good health habits also greatly benefit your teeth. Just take a look at our tips:
- Quit smoking or other tobacco products. Tons and tons of people make this their New Year’s goal. It of course spares your lungs, but it also does wonders for your teeth. Tobacco causes a range of oral health problems, ranging from issues like discoloration, cavities, gum recession to serious health concerns such as oral cancer. Once you quit, your mouth—like your lungs—start to recover.
- Cut back on alcohol. This is nobody’s favorite, but it’s a good one to pursue. Most know that excessive alcohol isn’t healthy, but most aren’t aware that it affects oral health. Heavy alcohol intake increases rates of gum recession. It also affects behavior such as brushing teeth on a consistent basis. That and alcohol, especially the morning after, gives you terrible breath.
- Increase the fruits and vegetables. Proper diet always helps the whole body. It also specifically helps the mouth too. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts pump up your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation. This helps protect your teeth and gums. Also apples, carrots, and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
- Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. Though this is taught to every child, we have a tendency of not taking it seriously. So this year, make it a point. 2 minutes, twice a day with one of them including a good flossing. That’s it! How painful is that?
- Make sure you have regular dental check-ups. Even people who take great care of their teeth need to heed this point. Everyone’s got to visit their dentist at least twice a year. Many are now saying that the age old 6 month rule isn’t enough anymore, so really aim for 3 times a year.
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist who uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition to his technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you. Check out our Twitter, Facebook page, and website.