There is no better time than the beginning of the new year to get started with some more wholesome lifestyle habits. Whether you are eager to eat more nutritious foods, get an extra hour of sleep, or read more books, you are taking a step to improve your life. As for your dental health, there are always steps that you can take to work towards healthier smile. Here are a few New Year’s resolution ideas from your dentist.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
An occasional sugary treat doesn’t usually do too much harm to your smile, but if you are constantly consuming them throughout the day, this can increase your risk for tooth decay and other problems all throughout your body. The best way to cut back is to reduce the number of sweet treats that you purchase. Try to find something else that satisfies the craving. For instance, instead of a can of cola, try having sparkling water instead. Instead of a piece of hard candy, have a piece of sugarless chewing gum.
Enjoy Smile-Friendly Snacks
Not all foods are harmful for your teeth. In fact, some are actually quite beneficial. Try to add some more smile-friendly snacks to your diet. Dairy products are excellent for your teeth because they are high in calcium. Try having some yogurt or a glass of milk with your breakfast. Cheese makes a great snack as well. Fibrous foods and vegetables, like apples, pears, carrots, and celery help to stimulate saliva flow and clean your teeth. Instead of potato chips or crackers, have some nutrient-rich nuts.
Attend Regular Checkups
While regular cleanings and checkups are essential for optimal dental health, approximately one third of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they should. At the beginning of the new year, give your dental office a call to book a checkup. Before you leave the practice, be sure to schedule your next visit. This way, you will be back on track with regular appointments.
Floss Once Daily
Brushing is a highly effective way to remove plaque and food particles from your teeth, but there are some places that your toothbrush’s bristles can’t quite reach. That’s why flossing is so necessary to remove bacteria and plaque from between the teeth and beneath the gumline. If you aren’t already in the habit of flossing on a regular basis, the new year is a great time to get started! Place your container of floss right next to your toothpaste. This way, you will see it every time you brush your teeth.
Using tobacco products doubles your risk for gum disease! It is also linked to many other serious health issues, including oral cancer. This habit can be incredibly difficult to quit, so it’s important that you find healthier replacement activities for when the craving kicks in. Talk to your friends, family, and family physician about the best ways you can quit.
You shouldn’t leave your smile behind in the new year. Give some of the New Year’s resolutions listed above a try. Your smile will be thanking you!
About the Author
Dr. Marjun Ayati is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for over 25 years. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Maryland and is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Virginia Dental Association, and Northern Virginia Dental Society. For more ways to keep your smile healthy or to schedule an appointment at her office in Fairfax, visit her website or call (703) 560-6301.