Do you make the same New Year’s resolution each year? If so, there’s a good chance it’s the classic, “Exercise more and eat healthier.” But for something different, one worthwhile resolution you may not have thought of is committing to healthier teeth and gums in 2019. Your oral health is important for multiple reasons: It not only helps you eat all the foods you want without pain and adds to your self-confidence, but researchers have found that a healthy mouth contributes to good overall health as well. Having a healthy smile requires a combination of professional care from a dentist in North Dallas along with good habits in between visits. Keep reading for 5 great habits that will help you have your healthiest smile yet in 2019!
1. Schedule a Checkup
Checkups are so much more than just a cleaning – they’re a chance for a professional to monitor every aspect of your oral health. These visits include the following:
- A review of your medical history and a blood pressure screening
- Annual X-rays to help dentists find problems as soon as possible that they can’t see with their eyes alone
- An oral cancer screening
- Annual gum evaluation
- A professional cleaning and polish
- Help with making your oral hygiene habits as effective as possible
- Dietary counseling as needed
- Exam from a dentist in north Dallas
2. Minimize Sugar
You don’t have to give up sugar completely to reduce the risk of cavities. Simply minimizing it will make a big difference.
Also, it’s not just the total amount of sugar you consume, but the frequency that counts as well. Avoid sipping on a sugary beverage or nibbling on anything sweet throughout the day, as it will significantly increase your risk of tooth decay.
3. Stop Smoking
Most people are aware of the risks that smoking poses to overall health, but you might be surprised to know that it also doubles your risk of gum disease.
And since gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss and also increases your risk of several serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s, it’s well worth it to do everything you can to prevent it.
4. Make Flossing Easier
Many people struggle with flossing more than any other habit. You don’t have to be perfect with your flossing habits, but aim to be better. For example, if you currently don’t floss at all, make it your goal to floss every other day at first. Once you’ve solidly established that habit, it will be easier to increase it to every day.
Also, if you find that you’re too exhausted at bedtime to floss, try doing it right after dinner or even lunch when you have more energy.
5. Practice On-the-Go Oral Hygiene
If you have a meal or snack, especially if it’s something sweet, it’s important to practice some on-the-spot oral hygiene. Of course, brushing and flossing aren’t always possible.
Instead, chew some sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes or swish with water several times. This will help you wash away some of the sugars and acids in your mouth that cause cavities.
If you can consistently practice these habits in 2019, you’ll reduce your risk of teeth and gum troubles and be on your way to fantastic oral health!
About the Author
With over 20 years of experience as a dentist in North Dallas, Dr. John A. Grinaldi loves helping his patients feel good about their smiles. He knows that great oral health is the result of regular checkups and good oral hygiene at home, so he and his staff always educate their patients on good preventive habits. If you have any other questions about your oral health, he can be reached via his website or at (972) 437-4746.