5 New Year’s Resolutions To Make 2017 Your Mouth-Healthiest Year Yet
When’s the last time you heard someone make a New Year’s resolution about their teeth? Never? We thought so. We want that to change this year. At Wurzbach Family Dental, we want to inspire people to make at least one resolution to take better care of their oral health in 2017. We’ve compiled a list of possible New Year’s resolutions for you. In a perfect world everyone would commit to all of these, but even if you just pledge yourself to one, you’ll be doing yourself and your teeth a huge favor.
Resolution #1: Schedule a dentist appointment
The most important thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy is practicing preventative maintenance. That means visiting your dentist at least once a year for a routine checkup. Your dentist will be able to spot possible developing issues long before you can. Preventing dental problems is much less expensive and way less painful than uncomfortable and invasive correctional procedures that you’d otherwise have to endure. You can visit us here to schedule an appointment to kick off 2017 on the right foot.
Resolution #2: Cut back on sugar
Sugar is Public Enemy Number One when it comes to dental health. In fact, last January marked the first time ever that the American Dental Association specified a limit on the intake of a particular food, and that “food” was sugar. They advised that sugar should constitute less than ten percent of your total calories consumed per day. Ten percent roughly equates to twelve teaspoons of sugar; this is the equivalent of one can of soda.
The bacteria that are living in your mouth love sugar, it’s their favorite meal. When they eat it, they produce highly acidic waste which corrodes the enamel of your teeth and directly correlates to cavities, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. The less sugar you consume, the fewer chances you have of developing these nasty side effects.
Resolution #3: Start flossing
We know that many patients don’t floss. (We can see that lack of evidence when they come in for their appointment.) We’re not scolding them; we just want our patients to know that we are aware. You’re definitely not alone, either. In fact, data collected from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicates that only about one-third of Americans actually floss. In August of this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminded us that “flossing is an important oral hygiene practice,” as it helps to eliminate plaque that is missed by brushing. If not removed, that plaque hardens like cement on your teeth, turning into tartar and later contributing to cavities and gum disease. When you floss isn’t so important as that you floss, at least once a day. If you’re unsure of how to start this healthy habit, here’s a short ADA guide on how to floss.
Resolution #4: Drink more water
Many people choose new mantras for themselves as part of their New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t thought of one, we have for you: When in doubt, drink more water. Water is good for your body, your mind, and your teeth. Regularly sipping on water helps rinse your teeth and wash away food particles, acidic sugars, and bacteria, and flushes out plaque and other harmful debris. And drinking water doesn’t just prevent you from getting thirsty; it also hydrates your mouth and gums which increases the oxygen flow and carries away additional harmful debris from your gums.
Resolution #5: Eat more fruits and veggies
The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the less other undesirable foods you’re likely to consume. Crunchy vegetables have the effect of cleaning your teeth of sugars, acids, particulates, and harmful bacterias. They also stimulate saliva production, which helps rinse your teeth. Fruits and veggies also contain healthy nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin C for wound healing and Vitamin A for building tooth enamel. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and high in water concentration, which helps hydrate you and balance the sugar content in your mouth.
Don’t think of these resolutions as chores, think of them as showing your teeth the love and care that they deserve. Because a healthier mouth is a healthier you, and to that, there is no downside. Here’s to a healthy and good-habit-filled 2017. May it be a safe and happy year for you and yours.