With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, you may have already been thinking about getting started on your New Year’s resolutions. Are you thinking about resolving to change careers, save money, or lose weight? Many people’s top goal for the new year is committing to a healthier lifestyle. If you are considering adding living healthy to your New Year’s resolution list, don’t forget to include improving your dental health!
Good dental practices can keep your smile bright, your teeth healthy, and your breath fresh. Here are some useful strategies that will go a long way toward giving you a more attractive, healthier smile during the coming year:
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for your dental health. Poor nutrition can weaken your immune system, resulting in an increased susceptibility to gum (periodontal) disease and a variety of oral disorders. Nutrients and antioxidants found abundantly in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes can protect your teeth and gums by helping your body fight bacteria and prevent inflammation. Also, raw vegetables and crisp fruits such as celery, carrots, and apples help remove plaque from teeth while freshening your breath.
Give Up Tobacco Products
Tobacco use can harm your mouth in a variety of ways. Tobacco products can increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, gum recession and tooth discolouration, in addition to serious threats such as mouth, throat and lung cancer. While smokers are more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, other tobacco products have adverse effects as well: smokeless tobacco has its own set of serious risks. The good news is that quitting smoking or smokeless tobacco products decreases your risk of tooth loss.
Limit Your Adult Beverages
While you may know that excessive alcohol intake can affect your overall health negatively, you might not know that it can also negatively impact your oral health. People who eat poorly, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, and smoke cigarettes are likely to have increased gum inflammation, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Studies have shown that people who smoke and regularly consume alcohol are less concerned with their basic health and are less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis when compared to non-smokers.
Adopt Healthy Oral Care
Oral health begins with clean teeth. Your smile and overall oral health depend on regularly following basic dental care habits, such as flossing and brushing daily. But are you sure you are using the right techniques? The following recommendations from the Canadian Dental Association will ensure you are brushing and flossing properly.
Brush your teeth twice a day. Take your time when brushing, in order to do a thorough job. Time yourself by listening to your favourite song while brushing.
Pick the right equipment. Select a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably in your mouth and use a fluoride toothpaste. Consider using a battery-operated or electric toothbrush, which can work better than a manual toothbrush at reducing plaque and gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease). Ask your family dentist which toothbrush type is best for you.
Adopt a good brushing technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle, rather than flat. Aim the bristles toward your gum line where your gums meet your teeth. Use gentle circular motions and remember to brush all sides of your teeth as well as your tongue.
Use an interdental flosser. If you have trouble using traditional floss, especially on your back teeth, try using a pre-threaded flosser, or a bristled interdental brush, like a Proxabrush.
See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups
You can prevent dental health problems before they require help from a cosmetic dentist by getting regular checkups at least twice a year. Find out how to keep your teeth and gums healthy in the New Year by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Yeung at Brewery District Dental today.