The Earth is about to complete one more lap around the sun and people are getting ready to celebrate the coming of a new year! For generations, people have made New Year’s resolutions, pledging to improve themselves by quitting smoking, spending more time with the kids, exercising more, eating right, and many other ways. If you’re looking for some way to better yourself, why not resolve to achieve a prettier smile? Here are a few ways to improve your oral health during the new year.
Cut Back on the Sugar
Sugar is the nemesis of dentistry because it feeds the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease and people just can’t seem to get enough of it. Sugar is full of easily absorbed chemical energy, which is just what these germs need to multiply rapidly and excrete enamel-eroding acid. If bacterial growth is encouraged and left untreated, the patient will eventually lose teeth and may suffer from secondary infections like sepsis and pneumonia.
Refined sugar is an unfortunately common ingredient in America and can be found in foods and drinks such as candy, syrups, sauces, and soda. Starch, such as that found in potatoes and bread, is also dangerous for your oral health because it breaks down into the same simple sugars that feed harmful bacteria. To keep your teeth healthy this year, resolve to go easy on your sweets and drink water instead of soda or juice.
Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene
Teeth need to be cleaned on a daily basis in order to remain healthy and strong, and pledging to adhere to a rigorous dental cleaning routine is a fantastic idea. A proper daily oral hygiene regimen includes:
- Brushing your teeth: Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to polish each outer surface of your teeth, taking care to treat them with gentle, circular strokes. This will wash away most plaque and food debris. Do this at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bed.
- Flossing: Flossing is just as important as brushing because it can clean between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.
- Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash: These concoctions can kill more than 99.9% of harmful oral bacteria on contact and leave your breath fresh and classy.
Also important for your oral health is seeing your dentist regularly. If you haven’t been in for a dental exam and cleaning for a while, scheduling an appointment is a great way to start the new year off right.
About the Author
Dr. Daniel Weldon earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 2008 and has continued his training through courses provided by Spear Education. He is proud to be a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. His office in Ocala, FL offers general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. To schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning, contact the office online or dial (352) 622-3236.