New year, new you. If you’re going to make resolutions, why not choose some that will make you happier AND healthier? Many studies have shown a direct connection between serious diseases and oral health so kickstart 2020 with these five mouth-healthy resolutions:
Get Into a Brushing Routine
It may seem simple but getting into a brushing routine can make a huge difference in creating healthy habits longterm. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth, no matter how often you brush.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your body is a complex machine. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums too. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay.
Tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. Common sources of sugar in the diet include soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries. Your physician or a registered dietitian can also provide suggestions for eating a nutritious diet. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This could lead to gum disease which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is potentially more severe in people with poor nutrition.
To keep you mouth healthy you’ll need to do more than just brush daily. Flossing between your teeth may help prevent cavities and gum disease while also helping to remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities.
Switch to Sugarless Gum
Did you know that clinical studies have found that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay? Chewing gum creates an increased flow of saliva which washed away food debris and neutralizes acids in the mouth. While chewing sugarless gum will never replace brushing and flossing, it’s a good habit to get into; especially if you’re used to chewing sugary sweet gum that hinders more than it helps.
Schedule a Cleaning
When’s the last time you came in for a cleaning? Regular dental checkups will keep your mouth healthy for life. Give us a call to book your appointment!