The new year is quickly approaching and many have started considering what goals they will resolve to achieve. Losing weight and getting fit is definitely a top choice, but did you know that another effective way of improving your overall wellness is by committing to better oral health habits? The mountain of evidence linking oral and general health continues to grow, proving that the connection is not only “theory” at this point, but a fact that can not be denied. There are several, simple steps that you can take to improve your oral health and therefore your overall wellness in 2015. The following are a few suggestions on how to get started.
Follow an Effective Oral Hygiene Routine
There’s no doubt that by brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day, you’ll be well on your way to healthy teeth and gums. But do you know why these activities are so important? Your teeth’s biggest enemy is plaque, a sticky, colorless, invisible film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth daily. Brushing twice a day will keep plaque in check, avoiding the build-up of cavity causing tartar. Flossing is also a critical step in removing plaque. It has been shown that when flossing is skipped, up to 35% of the tooth is not cleaned. Only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline. Failure to brush and floss regularly will result in the build-up of bacteria, which will eventually lead to gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Not only will consuming fruits and veggies help with your waistline and heart health, eating a balanced diet is important for your dental health as well. Poor nutrition contributes to a weakened immune system, further increasing your susceptibility to common disease, such as gum disease. Antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes also help your body fight bacteria and inflammation. Additionally, crispy fruits and veggies, like apples, carrots, and celery help clean plaque from your teeth and freshen breath.
Quit Using All Tobacco Products
It is no secret that smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products is terrible for your oral and overall health. Aside from causing a number of life threatening health conditions, tobacco also discolors your teeth and causes cavities, gum recession, and chronic bad breath. Smokers are actually twice as likely to lose their natural teeth than non-smokers. The good news is that by quitting smoking or using smokeless tobacco, most of these effects are reversible.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, individuals who smoke, eat poorly and consume excessive alcohol have increased gum recession. Their studies show that smokers who regularly consume alcoholic beverages are less likely to brush their teeth routinely and are less concerned about their basic health than nonsmokers. Alcohol, when consumed in large quantities, can lead to a number of adverse health conditions, some of which can be fatal. Abstaining from alcohol or drinking in moderation is critical to achieving your health potential.
Visit Your Dentist Bi-annually
Receiving professional cleanings twice a year is a sure-fire way to prevent dental health problems down the road. Regular visits also allow your dentist to monitor your oral health in addition to other potential health problems. Did you know that your mouth has been called the window to your overall health? Many chronic conditions, like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, show symptoms in the mouth. Your dentist can play a pivotal role in early detection of disease, which is crucial in the effectiveness of treatment.
These are just a few of the simple resolutions that you can commit to in order to improve your overall and oral health in 2015. Everyone at Miami Dental Sedation Spa hopes that you have a safe, happy and healthy New Year!