Each New Year we turn a page and discover new opportunities to increase our energy, our happiness and our health. While the typical New Year’s resolutions may include losing weight, getting more exercise, eating healthier and reducing stress, we wanted to recommend some positive dental-friendly resolutions that can play an important role in good oral health for 2014.
Below are our mouth-healthy resolutions for 2014:
Quit smoking or using tobacco products: Tobacco products are more than just harmful to your body, they cause bad breath, stained teeth, dulled sense of taste and smell, gum disease and even oral cancer. Quitting is the only way to reduce your risk of these or other related tobacco health issues. We recommend that putting a plan together and getting support through people you know will best help with this resolution. Those that have been successful in smoking or tobacco cessation have used methods like exercise, chewing gum and sometimes, medication. Talk with your dentist or doctor about medication available to help you in your plan to quit.
Start (or keep) brushing 2 times a day for 2 minutes: Always brush at least twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush for healthier teeth, great breath, less cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems. Not sure you’ve been brushing for two minutes? Try using a stop watch to time yourself.
Floss at least once daily: Flossing is also an important part of being mouth healthy. The most important thing about flossing is to do it at a time where you can devote a couple of extra minutes to your dental hygiene. Some people who get extra tired at night choose to floss their teeth in the morning or even after lunch. If you’ve just started to floss and it is uncomfortable, that is normal. Keep flossing each day and you will notice the discomfort will go away in about a week or two. Talk to a dentist if you find the pain persists.
Chew sugarless gum: Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. Look for chewing gum that carries the ADA Seal, your assurance that the sugar-free chewing gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables: Many foods and beverages, especially those high in sugar, can cause an increase in cavities. Paying close attention to your eating habits will reduce your risk of developing cavities and other more progressive dental problems.
Drink fluoridated water: Fluoride helps prevent cavities by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities.
Rounding off our list of dental-friendly New Year’s resolutions is to ensure you visit a dentist every six months. Regular dental visits will help you stay mouth healthy for life. For more information or to schedule your next appointment, please visit us at www.myfortmyersdentist.com or call (239) 936-0597.