We are a month into 2014 so how are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? Are you keeping to your goals of healthy living through exercise and eating right? Many people make broad goals to improve the health of their body, but did you remember to include healthy teeth and gums in your resolutions this year?
Since you are (hopefully) already brushing and flossing on a regular basis, visiting your dentist at least twice a year, and not using your pearly whites as a tool to open bottle caps or packages, here are some great dental resolutions that may surprise you!
1. Change your toothbrush at least every three months!
Even though your brush may look normal, after three months the bristles become weakened and are not effective. It’s also a good idea to get a new toothbrush after an illness. And never (yuck!) share your toothbrush with anyone! Next time you are at the store, pick up some extra toothbrushes to have on hand when anyone in your family gets sick.
2. Avoid sports drinks – they can rot your teeth!
We all know that sugary sodas can help promote the formation of cavities, but many people believe that sports drinks are healthy ways to hydrate. They are actually loaded with sugar, and should only be consumed by athletes in training to replace lost electrolytes. The best drink ever created is still water!!
3. Fluoride is good, but be careful!
We are big believers in the proven benefits of fluoridated drinking water, toothpaste, and in-office fluoride treatments. But excessive fluoride can be a bad thing. Make sure that any small children in the house are not snacking on toothpaste and letting it rest on their teeth. Also, rinsing and spitting after brushing is best.
4.Quit smoking NOW!
You probably know that cigarette smoking is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and many other serious health problems. What you may not know is that smoking (and smokeless tobacco) has also been linked to throat, lung and mouth cancer. Smokers are also twice as likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers. And it makes your mouth stink!!
5. Eat your fruits and vegetables!
Eating well is important not just for your overall health, but for your dental health as well. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common dental problems such as gum disease. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
So there you have it – five simple and important dental New Year’s Resolutions that you may not have known about!
If you have any questions or any other dental resolutions we can help you with (even coming in for a long overdue cleaning and examination) we are here for you! Feel free to give us a call at 636-561-5445.