New Year’s Resolutions for Good Oral Health
The new year is a time to think about what’s important in life, including our health. This year, why not consider what you can do to ensure that your megawatt smile feels and looks as good as it can? Here are some dental health tips to consider for 2016.
Improve Your Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Brushing and flossing are the single most important things you can do to prevent oral health problems. This helps prevent the development of plaque, which can cause decay and gum disease. Perfect your technique by watching these videos on brushing and flossing. Also, avoid hard bristle brushes that can wear away the gums and change your toothbrush every three to six months, after which it becomes much less effective.
Visit the Dentist for Regular Check Ups
Even if your dental hygiene is top notch and you brush and floss as recommended, it’s still important to see the dentist every six months. Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. Your dentist will assess the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination, and check your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies.
Control Your Sweet Tooth
Sugar from snacks and sweets, as well as less-obvious sugar derived from carbohydrates, contributes to bacteria-bearing plaque, which sets the process of decay in motion. An occasional sweet or carbohydrate is not as much a culprit in leading to cavities as consuming sugars throughout the day. Frequent sugar intake doesn’t allow time for your naturally protective saliva to neutralize the acid created as a byproduct from sugar intake.
The acid created by mouth bacteria remains for 30 minutes after you eat or drink, so each bite of a cookie essentially restarts plaque production.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Good nutrition is an important aspect in promoting strong teeth and bones. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to improve your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath. Limit your intake of acidic drinks and sugary treats, which can harm the enamel on your teeth.
Ready to Quit Tobacco? Here’s Another Reason
Tobacco plays a role in many oral health problems, including bad breath, stained teeth, tooth loss, gum disease and oral cancer. If you currently use tobacco, consider quitting. Think about trying a healthier habit, such as chewing sugar-free gum, which stimulates the flow of saliva that washes away bacteria.
Prevent! Prevent! Prevent!
Ben Franklin’s “An ounce of prevention” truism certainly applies to dental health. Timely and routine dental care can help address serious dental problems before they arise. Your dentist can provide professional cleaning to remove harmful plaque, treat gingivitis before it develops into periodontal disease, and fill cavities before bacterial infections in teeth spread.
Improving your oral health is a worthy resolution. By following these tips, you’ll have plenty of reasons to smile.
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About York Dental Clinic
York Dental Clinic is a Fredericton, NB based dental clinic.
We're a full time family-based Fredericton dentist office offering all aspects of dentistry. Our dental practice offers personal attention, commitment to excellence and a no-nonsense approach to oral health. Our number one priority is your comfort and satisfaction. Your individual needs are always considered and your choices always respected.