It’s January—time to reflect on what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Do you have dreams or goals you want for 2019? Like many people during this time of year, do you want to improve your health? If you do, don’t forget your oral health as well. Your dentist in Spring Lake has several resolution ideas that you can easily stick with to make a real change in your oral health this year.
It may seem like a little thing, but adding flossing to your daily routine can have a huge impact on your oral health. Although brushing does remove a lot of plaque from your teeth, think about the space between them, where the bristles can’t reach. Those areas then become susceptible to tooth decay or gum disease. Flossing helps clean out those hard-to-reach places, better protecting your teeth and gums.
Consume Less Sugar
In the sodas you drink or the carbohydrates you eat as snacks, sugar is not only bad for your body but also for your oral health. In fact, studies have shown a direct link between the amount of sugar a person consumes to the amount of tooth decay they have. The bacteria in plaque thrive on sugar and create acids that attack teeth and irritate gums. By cutting off their main food supply, you reduce the damage these harmful bacteria can do.
Eat Mouth-Friendly Food
To replace all the sugar you’re not consuming anymore, you can choose to eat foods that actually help your mouth stay healthy. In addition to foods that provide necessary vitamins, like dairy with calcium, you can eat fiber-rich foods that encourage saliva production, which helps wash away plaque and bacteria. These fibrous foods include the following:
- Leafy greens, such as spinach.
Other fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as pears and cucumbers, also help clean your teeth.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water has been shown to help reduce stress on your heart and have other health benefits, but it also helps your mouth. Not only is it a sugar free drink, but like your own saliva, water can wash away the harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Especially if you experience dry mouth from medication, it’s important to drink enough water.
Straighten Your Teeth
A straight smile does more than just look good. But how can straightening your teeth help with your oral health? Well, crooked or misaligned teeth can have many nooks and crannies for plaque and bacteria to hide even with consistent brushing and flossing. Straight teeth are much easier to maintain and keep healthy. So if you have crooked or misaligned teeth, you should consider making a change not only to your smile’s appearance but to your oral health.
To begin this new year, you can start to take control of your oral health with these simple, but significant, goals. When you implement them, you and your dentist will see a difference for your next dental checkup. For more information about how you can improve your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Spring Lake.
About the Author
Dr. Edward Dooley is the owner and operator of Dooley Dental, which he opened in 1986 after serving as a dental officer in the navy for three years. For over 30 years, he has provided compassionate dental care to patients in his hometown of Spring Lake. You can contact him by calling (732) 974-2288 or clicking here.