As you consider your New Year’s resolutions for 2014, don’t forget about your oral health. A healthy, confident smile makes you feel great. There are many things you can do to ensure you maintain a beautiful smile throughout the coming year and beyond.

1. Quit smoking. It is important to stop smoking for many reasons. Although most people know the danger smoking poses to your lungs, it also presents a danger to your oral health. In fact, cigarette smokers and people who use smokeless tobacco have a greater risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Smoking also causes chronic bad breath and stains tooth enamel. Make it a priority to quit smoking in 2014 and your risks can decrease considerably.

2. Avoid alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to gum recession, also called periodontal pocketing. The result can be loose or missing teeth and advanced gum disease. Alcohol use also triggers tooth grinding, which can cause permanent damage to your teeth. In addition, according to some studies, heavy alcohol drinkers have a higher risk of oral cancers.

3. Eat healthy foods. Some foods are healthy choices for your body and your smile. These foods protect your tooth enamel while also keeping your teeth free of debris. Make healthy eating a habit in the coming year by choosing foods such as cheese and chicken, which contain calcium and phosphorus. Eat plenty of crunchy vegetables and crisp fruits that are filled with water to wash away the acids on your teeth.

4. Keep your teeth clean. If you are not already brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, you need to start now. When you don’t remove plaque from your teeth regularly, it becomes tartar and eventually causes gum disease. Flossing removes plaque trapped between your teeth and under the gum line. If you are not sure how to brush and floss properly, ask your dentist to show you how.

5. Visit the dentist. You should see your dentist at least once every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam. If you have signs of gum disease then you need to see the dentist even more often. Schedule your checkups in advance and always keep your appointments so that you can maintain a healthy smile. When you receive regular preventative care, your dentist can fix issues before they become serious.

6. Stock up on dental products. Don’t run out of the products that are essential for good oral health. Change your toothbrush every 3-6 months. Keep replacement toothbrushes in the closet so that you have one ready when it’s time. Note the date on your calendar so you don’t forget to switch to a new toothbrush. Buy toothpaste with fluoride to protect your teeth from cavities. Experiment with different types of dental floss to find out which works best. An antimicrobial rinse is another useful step to add to your dental routine.

Best wishes to you and your family in 2014 from the Craig Armstrong, DDS team!

 

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Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/healthy-eating/new-years-resolutions-oral-health


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