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5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

December 17, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drheim @ 9:54 pm

Resolutions spelled out in Scrabble tiles2024 is right around the corner! As you jot down your goals for the upcoming year, a healthier lifestyle might be at the top of your list. Besides improving your eating habits and exercising regularly, good oral health can help you reach your goal. Your oral and overall wellness are connected. Here are 5 New Year’s resolutions you should follow to invest in a healthy mouth and body. 

1. Brush After Every Meal

Teeth are supposed to last for a lifetime, but 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Unfortunately, most are lost from preventable issues, like cavities and gum disease. Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against common dental problems. 

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily. Strive to brush after every meal to remove food residue and plaque that can harm your oral health. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth for 2 minutes.

2. Floss Your Teeth Every Day

Although your toothbrush is effective, it can’t reach everywhere in your mouth, leaving up to 40% of your teeth surfaces uncleaned. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gum disease, which affects 50% of adults over the age of 30. Not only can gum disease cause tooth loss, but it can increase your risk of many health issues, like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and preterm delivery. 

Daily flossing removes accumulations your toothbrush can’t reach to keep your gums healthy.

3. Limit Sugars and Starches

Cavities are almost always preventable, but 92% of adults have experienced decay. Sugar is a leading contributor to enamel erosion. Sugars and starches feed cavity-causing bacteria that can break down your enamel. 

Cutting back on starches and sugars can lessen your risk of decay. Instead, choose plenty of crisp fruits and veggies.

4. Drink More Water

Healthcare professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated. Dehydration will decrease saliva production, making your mouth dry, which will increase oral bacteria growth. 

A dry mouth is an early sign of dehydration. Commit to drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist.

5. Visit Your Dentist Every 6 Months

Besides caring for your mouth at home, schedule a cleaning and checkup every 6 months. Your dentist will monitor your oral health to detect anything concerning while it’s still small. They can keep preventable issues at bay to support your dental health and general wellness.

It’s never too late to commit to a healthy smile that you’ll be proud to show off while improving your health.

About Dr. John Carroll

Dr. Carroll earned his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has regularly pursued continuing education in many specialties, like cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry. He is affiliated with several progressional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Connecticut State Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call (860) 368-0133.

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