New Year’s resolutions for a healthy mouth | TahoeDailyTribune.com

New Year’s resolutions for a healthy mouth

Oral health is important not only to maintain a healthy smile and the ability to eat delicious foods, but because it can affect your body's overall health. Researchers continue to find that stricter oral hygiene and healthier food selection choices can maintain your overall health and minimize a possible negative affect on other conditions and diseases.

How Poor Oral Health Negatively Affects The Entire Body

Lack of oral care can affect your overall body because the reluctance to remove bacteria through proper dental hygiene can make your gums prone to infection. As your immune system attacks the infection, gums become inflamed. With ongoing inflammation, chemicals are released that not only destroy gums and teeth, but can also further complicate diabetes, pregnancy and fetal development, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lung conditions, and obesity.

Simple Oral Care Resolutions

With something helpful to the entire body as an improved dental health regimen, we recommend that everyone includes improved oral care as part of their list of New Year resolutions. Some simple acts to resolve may include:

1.) Make An Appointment: Dental health can start with making a dental appointment. Calling, texting, and online schedulers make it even easier to find a flexible time and date with your dentist and oral surgeon. With affordable options in dental insurance, new dental membership subscriptions, and offices willing to create flexible payment schedules, affording a dental appointment can be more manageable. Furthermore, regular cleanings and consults can help you look for possible issues as well as introduce preventative measures to avoid high costs and intense pain if neglected.

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2.) Commit to Flossing and Brushing: Brushing twice a day is the recommendation to curb your plaque build up and to remove food from your teeth. But, brushing is not enough. Commit to flossing at least once a day to remove the hard-to-reach surfaces on your teeth. Floss is an inexpensive way to prevent complex dental issues, so having a roll of floss next to your toothbrush, in your purse, or at your desk can be an easy way to commit to this great habit.

3.) Reduce Your Sugar: Studies show there is a direct link to the amount of sugar a person eats and their amount of tooth decay. With the increased options and availability of healthier food options, we recommend drinking water or sugar-free seltzer water instead of soda. If you are craving something sweet, grab a piece of sugarless gum or eat an apple instead.

4.) Eat Healthier Foods: The more you cut back on sugar, the easier it is to get used to enjoying the true flavor of healthier foods. Start by selecting choices such as dairy products (high in calcium and good for your teeth), and fibrous foods, such as celery and apples, which increase saliva productions and actually scrub away plaque while you chew. Add in more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as you continue into the new year.

5.) Quit Tobacco Products: Make a commitment to quit smoking and using tobacco products. Not only will this reduce your chances of oral cancer and increase your mouth's ability to heal, but you will also save a lot of money by no longer spending tens to hundreds of dollars each month on tobacco. Enroll in a program, find out how to deal with cravings, and enlist in a support group to help.

Changing habits is not the easiest thing for people to do. However, since habit-breaking and new behavior-making comes with the new year, this is the best time to adopt these oral health resolutions. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us at Tahoe Oral Surgery and Implant Center in order to create a customized plan of action towards your dental health concern, please do. Not only will your teeth thank you with optimized health, but so will your body. Happy New Year!

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About the authors

Drs. Dan Martin and Rachel Appelblatt at Tahoe Oral Surgery and Implant Center are your local dental implant and oral surgery specialists. They are experienced and board certified oral surgeons who specialize in customer care using state-of-the art equipment and techniques. If you have any questions or concerns about oral surgery or dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact them at TahoeOralSurgery.com.