If you are like many folks this time of year, making resolutions is probably foremost on your mind. Those resolutions likely have something to do with promoting health and prosperity while giving up unhealthy habits. This year, our dental team highly recommends making some powerful changes to your dental health by implementing healthier dental goals!
Remember, it’s important to implement changes and stick to them every day. New habits work as you consistently work them! View your new habits as a positive by changing how you feel about your day-to-day dental care. Instead of thinking of it as another chore, focus on the clean and fresh way your mouth will feel and look after brushing and flossing.
Healthy saliva flow is essential when it comes to creating an oral environment that helps teeth, gums and oral tissue to thrive. Saliva protects tooth enamel by coating it with minerals, rinsing away oral residue and food particles as well as neutralizing your pH levels (so there’s less acidity to weaken tooth enamel). Insufficient saliva levels lead to dry mouth, a condition called xerostomia.
Staying hydrated is good for your body as well as your mouth! Along with drinking plenty of water throughout your day, consider increasing dairy products as those also help. Chewing sugar-free gum is another way to keep your salivary glands active. If your mouth is constantly dry, you may also check with your doctor or dentist to see if your over-the-counter or prescription medications cause dry mouth as a side effect.
This time of year is a busy one for those wanting to give up their tobacco habit, including smoking or chewing it. Tobacco is bad for your lungs and oral tissues, throat, etc., and stains teeth and dries out the mouth. Fortunately, there are a variety of tobacco cessation programs that can help you quit.
A healthy diet can fuel your body while keeping your mouth vibrant and healthy. Did you know that the food you eat can either feed the bad bacteria in your mouth or support your teeth and gums? You can get essential vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and dairy. Commit to limiting your sugar intake as well as the acidic foods and drinks you indulge in (better choices are water and calcium-rich milk). Limit snacking and brush after meals and when you can’t brush after eating, rinse well with water until you can get to a toothbrush!
It’s not just your routine dental visits that maintain healthy teeth and gums. It’s about getting cavities treated with fillings to support your teeth, getting a root canal and or crown to save a tooth, and getting periodontal treatment if you have receding gums or gum pockets that can leave teeth loose. Remember, filling in gaps left behind from missing teeth is vital if you want to keep surrounding teeth from shifting and ruining your bite alignment. Whether you need restorative or cosmetic treatments, our dental team has what your smile needs for an amazing year ahead!