With the start of the new year, it’s traditional to create some New Year’s resolutions for self-improvement. Resolving to improve your dental health is a great start. Good dental care habits not only benefit your teeth, but they can have benefits for your overall health, too. Studies have shown that inflammation linked to oral bacteria can contribute to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and other health conditions. Good dental health isn’t just about keeping your teeth clean – it could save your life.
Here are a few simple resolutions you can make to improve your dental health.
Brush Twice A Day
A 2013 study from the American Dental Association showed that 56.8% of American women and 49% of American men brush their teeth twice a day. This means that there’s about a 50/50 shot that you’re only brushing your teeth once a day. If so, make this the year that you change your habits. Just brushing once in the morning and once at night before you go to bed can make a substantial difference in your dental health.
That same ADA study showed that 31% of Americans floss less than once a day, and 18.5% of American’s don’t floss at all. Flossing your teeth is essential for removing plaque that builds between your teeth, and causes inflammation. It may be difficult to get in the habit of flossing regularly, but you can use your New Year’s resolution momentum to make a serious effort to change your routine.
Change Your Diet
You might be considering a change of diet to meet some New Year’s weight loss goals. Many foods that are good for weight loss are also good for your teeth as well. Consider changing your diet to eat more foods that are good for your teeth.
Smoking or chewing tobacco is an unhealthy habit that is bad for your teeth. Tobacco use greatly increases your chances for oral cancers or gum disease. Make this year the one that you finally kick the habit.
Schedule Regular Checkups
All of the above resolutions are ones that you can take care of on your own. But, no dental health regimen is complete without regular checkups from your dentist. We recommend seeing your dentist every six months. Resolve in January to set up both of your yearly appointments so that you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the year.
The new year is a great time to change your habits, and it only takes a few small changes to make a big difference in your health. Get in the habit of brushing twice daily, floss every day, eat better foods, and quit bad tobacco habits. Contact us to set up your next dental checkup and we’ll help keep you on track!