At the beginning of each New Year if you’re like the majority of us you have a list of resolutions you’re determined to keep; and they probably revolve around losing weight, going to the gym and getting out of debt. But I bet nowhere on the list do you resolve to improve your dental care. Make this year different by adding some of these dental health resolutions to your list.
- Resolve to floss every day. While everyone knows the importance of flossing, statistics show that only 50 percent of people surveyed do it on a daily basis. Flossing removes the harmful bacteria and plaque from between teeth and below the gum line which can lead to gingivitis and gum disease.
- If you smoke: STOP! Smoking or using smokeless tobacco increases your risk for recessed gums, oral cancer, tooth discoloration and even tooth loss.
- Increasing fruits and vegetables is also important for your overall dental health. Eating nothing by junk and processed foods can affect your immune system and increase the risk for many common oral problems including periodontal disease. The antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans help fight harmful bacteria and work to build up your overall immune system.
- If you drink alcohol, don’t overdo it. Studies have shown overindulging can cause gum recession. Plus, people who abuse alcohol often have poor eating habits, are heavy smokers, don’t brush and floss on a regular basis and generally neglect their overall health.
- Make sure to visit your dentist on a regular basis. Most dental insurance plans include twice yearly cleanings and check-ups where many concerns can be addressed before they become major problems.