A new year is under way. You know what that means – it’s time to keep those New Year’s resolutions! Whether it’s shedding some pounds or cutting back on Netflix-and-chilling, the beginning of a new year provides an excellent opportunity to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Did you know that oral health contributes to better overall health? It’s a fact. Research has established a clear link between oral health and general well-being.
Here are a few steps you can take this year to maintain a healthy smile:
What you eat impacts your entire immune system, and a poor diet can elevate the risk of various common oral disorders, including gum (periodontal) disease. Consuming a consistent diet of fruits and vegetables provides antioxidants and other essential nutrients, enhancing your body’s ability to combat bacteria and inflammation and safeguarding your teeth and gums.
Kick the Tobacco Habit:
We’ve all heard plenty about the perils of tobacco use. Your teeth, gums, and mouth bear the brunt of the potentially devastating impacts of tobacco use. From tooth discoloration to cavities, gum disease to oral cancer, smoking and smokeless tobacco can introduce a host of issues for both oral and overall health. It’s time to quit, and this year is the year to make it happen.
Don’t Overdo It:
Were you aware that alcohol can affect your oral health? While you’re likely familiar with the dangers of binge drinking for overall health, combining alcohol with tobacco can be particularly detrimental to oral health. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, individuals who smoke, eat poorly, and frequently consume four or more alcoholic beverages at a time also experience increased gum recession.
Brushing and flossing are your best options for protecting your teeth from decay, preventing and fighting gum disease, and are the initial steps towards excellent oral health. While brushing is beneficial, it should always be complemented by flossing to be most effective. Only flossing can eliminate plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often originate. Proper brushing and flossing should be a daily commitment throughout the new year and beyond.
See Your Dentist:
Regular cleanings and exams with your dentist can help prevent dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require extensive and expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and recommend a dental health regimen to address any concerns. This year, resolve to prioritize oral health. Your teeth – and the rest of your body – will thank you for it!