As we head into 2017, many people will be resolving to change their lifestyle to have a healthier year. But health isn’t just about going to the gym or eating kale — your oral health is part of the bigger picture of your health. For 2017, why not add some oral health resolutions to your goals?
Have a Tooth-Friendly Diet
Your diet doesn’t just affect your weight — it also affects your teeth! It’s common knowledge by now that sugar is the leading cause of cavities, and yet Americans continue to consume way more than the recommended amounts of sugar daily. The leading cause is, of course, soda. There are plenty of ways to reduce the impact of soda on your teeth, but the most effective way is simply cutting it out of your diet. And speaking of diet — don’t think diet sodas will save you! They’re terrible for teeth, too.
Unfortunately, Starbucks and other shops load their drinks with sugar, too, so replacing soda with coffee or tea won’t completely erase the problem. Read up on tooth-friendly sources of caffeine to make sure you’re getting your buzz without dooming your oral health.
Form Good Oral Health Habits
We all know we should be brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, but many of us still don’t. To avoid cavities, gum disease, and other nasty results of poor oral health, it’s imperative that you follow your dentist’s recommendations for oral hygiene. This generally means brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. But you can’t just stick a toothbrush in your mouth and call it done — you also need to be brushing your teeth correctly for it to be effective.
But even the most meticulous brusher can’t provide everything your teeth need to stay healthy. That’s why it’s also important that you see your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.
This is a resolution many make already, but if you’re teetering on the edge of the decision, this may help push you over: Smoking doesn’t just damage your lungs. It also increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and can lead to even more bad habits. And lung cancer isn’t the only cancer you need to worry about if you’re a smoker. It also puts you at significantly higher risk of oral cancer.
Use your teeth for more than just eating! Smiling has numerous proven benefits, and you should take advantage of all of them in the new year. Smiling can help people remember your name, improve your love life, and even make you happier.