It’s the start of a new year and a new decade, and that means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions! While a majority of people who make resolutions do have health-related goals, it’s for things like eating better, exercising, or losing weight. While those are all important to your overall wellbeing, your dental health is just as important. That’s why our family dentist in Fuquay-Varina wanted to share some dental health-related resolutions so you can have a shining smile and healthy teeth and gums through 2020 and beyond!
Resolution #1: Get the Basics Down
We all know the foundation of dental health is:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day, two minutes each time.
- Flossing every day.
- Seeing your dentist twice a year for a professional teeth cleaning and checkup.
This may sound simple, but the reality is that most adults don’t follow this dental care routine. According to studies done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates show that:
- 70 percent of people brush their teeth twice daily.
- 37 percent of adults floss once a day.
- 64 percent of adults have visited their dentist in the past year.
By brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting those regular checkups, you’re minimizing your risk of tooth decay and gingivitis and preventing periodontal disease. By seeing a dentist regularly, you can make sure that any concerns are caught early, ensuring your teeth and gums are always at their healthiest point.
So, your #1 resolution needs to be getting the basics down!
Resolution #2: Drink More Water
Drinking water and staying hydrated is necessary to your overall health, but you may not realize the role water plays in aiding your oral health. Drinking water and staying hydrated offers the following benefits:
- Increases saliva production helps to keep teeth clean in between brushing.
- Rinses away debris and any residue from food or beverages left on the teeth after eating.
- Drinking fluoridated water (most tap water) strengthens tooth enamel and prevents cavity and decay.
- Makes an excellent alternative to sugary or acidic beverages, including sodas and juice.
Resolution #3: Reduce Sugar for Healthy Teeth
Eating sugary foods and drinking sweetened beverages, even “healthy” options like juice can lead to cavities and tooth decay, even when you maintain a good dental health routine. Your mouth contains bacteria (some good, some not so good), and certain types of bacteria react with sugar to produce an acidic substance. Acids break down protective tooth enamel and cause cavities and decay to develop.
This doesn’t mean you can never have sugar if you want healthy teeth. Instead, use these tips to reduce damage to your teeth from sugar:
- Avoid “bathing” your teeth in sugar with sweetened beverages, sugary chewing gum, and hard candy.
- After enjoying a sugary snack, drink water or brush your teeth to remove the sugar from your teeth.
- Swap sugary snacks for healthier options – apples, carrot sticks, and even popcorn can clean your teeth rather than damage them!
Resolution #4: Eat Foods That Support Healthy Teeth
Dental health isn’t only about removing or reducing foods that are bad for your teeth, it can also be about adding the right foods that support dental health! Foods that get saliva going, crunchy, water-filled foods that “scrub” plaque from your teeth, and foods high in calcium and phosphates can rebuild tooth enamel are all great for your teeth. Resolve to add these teeth-friendly foods to your grocery list for 2020:
- Cheese – Cheese not only has calcium and phosphates to strengthen tooth enamel, it boosts saliva production to help keep your teeth clean and strong between brushing!
- Sugarless gum – Boosts saliva and helps remove food debris from around your teeth.
- Apples, Carrots, and Celery – While apples and carrots have higher sugar content, they have a lot of fiber and water. These crunchy foods help clean debris and plaque from your teeth while the water in them helps to rinse your teeth.
- Almonds – Almonds are a good source of calcium and protein and are also low in sugar so you can enjoy a tasty, crunchy snack without worry!
Resolution #5: Use Your Teeth for Their Intended Purpose
This issue tends to get overlooked, but it’s important to only use your teeth to chew food. Using your teeth to open packages or even remove bottle caps (Yes, that’s actually happened!), risks breaking your teeth. Instead, keep the appropriate tools nearby.
Contact Our Family Dentist in Fuquay-Varina for a Healthy Smile in 2020