The ball has dropped, and the calendar page has turned. 2014 is here, and we all know the saying “New Year, New You.” After celebrating the arrival of a new year, many people make their lists of resolutions to better their lives. Each person’s list is unique to his/her own needs and desires, but there are many common ones. Each resolution has its specific goal, but they can actually improve dental health as well.
Eating Healthier Foods
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is eating healthier foods and going on a diet. The obvious goal is to improve general health and maybe even shed a few pounds. Often people will change the foods they eat, replacing their routine snacks with healthier options.
Experts recommend replacing chips and cookies with similar crunchy but healthier choices such as apples and celery stalks. In addition to adding nutritional value to one’s diet, high-fiber options like these stimulate saliva flow in the mouth to help combat harmful bacteria. Also the crunchy texture can help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
Smoking damages the lungs and respiratory system and causes lung and oral cancer. According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes cause 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths, and about 80 percent of people with oral cancer use some form of tobacco.
Smoking also has cosmetic and health effects on your teeth. The tar from the tobacco will linger on your teeth and cause discoloration. The discoloration is also amplified because tobacco reduces the amount of saliva available to clean the teeth. Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease and loss of teeth. Giving up smoking will reduce the chances of this happening as well as improve overall health.
Drinking Less Alcohol
A new year might mean working harder to achieve our goals, and working harder may call for a good celebration. While you might not want to eliminate those drinks completely, reducing alcohol intake has obvious health benefits but it will also help your teeth.
Drinking straight alcohol has minimal effect on your teeth, but the real damage comes in the mixers in your cocktails. The sugars in soft drinks and juices feed harmful bacteria and allow them to damage the teeth. These drinks, as well as wine and beer, can raise the acidity in your mouth, which softens the enamel of your teeth.
In addition, wine and beer can stain your teeth so thinking before you drink will also help your keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Taking Care of Your Body Helps Take Care of Your Teeth>
People often make their new year’s resolutions in order to improve their overall physical and mental health. If they follow through with their resolutions, they can also have the unintended effects of improving their oral health as well. This is a cyclical relationship as having clean teeth also helps keep a healthy body. Make a resolution to brush and floss regularly, and remember to make an appointment with your dentist for your regular cleanings. Let Dr. Fitzgerald and the Forte Implant Center help you keep your New Year’s resolutions to a be a new and healthier you.