As the year comes to an end, we all make New Year resolutions. A lot of times these resolutions are pertaining to our health. This year why not also include dental health in them. Make these goals reasonable so they can be easily attainable. Take baby steps so it is not very difficult to achieve them. A little effort will go a long way. Gradually these resolutions will turn into habits, that do not require willpower but are routine and you will stick to your resolutions past the month of January.
Good dental health habits not only promote healthy teeth and a beautiful white smile but contribute to your overall health as well. As you make your dental health your priority, you will see wonderful results on your overall health as well – like your immunity will start growing, you will fall less sick, you will be in better shape. So let’s start with the most basic 6 dental resolutions:
1. Eat healthy food: Eating nutritious food is key to not only maintaining good overall health but also great dental health. This year resolve to eat healthy food packed with the essential nutrients like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. Such food will strengthen your gums and teeth. Food like whole wheat, quinoa, millet, oats, etc. are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and fiber. Consuming these keeps you full longer, thus avoiding craving for unhealthy snacks. Frequent snacking on refined carbohydrates, chips, food made from white flour, biscuits etc are harmful to your teeth. They are converted into simple sugars. Bacteria love feeding on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay.
On the other hand,calcium-rich food like milk, cheese, yogurt, seafood, tofu, almonds as well as foods high in phosphorus like pumpkin seeds, fish, eggs, tofu, meat help to keep the outer layer of teeth i.e. enamel strong. Also, eat food that contains a high amount of vitamin C like oranges, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, kale etc. The vitamin C in this food helps your gums stay healthy and prevent periodontal and gum diseases.
2. Avoid sugary snacks: After you eat food and beverages laden with sugar, the bacteria present in our mouth release acids that attack tooth enamel. Gradually this enamel breaks down and cavities develop. So this year try to avoid consuming soft drinks, candies, desserts, jams, hard and sour candy, chocolates etc.
3. Brush twice a day: Although brushing after every meal is the best, but practically might be difficult. So resolve to brush twice a day for two minutes, in the morning and after your last meal before going to bed. Brushing removes plaque and bacteria that have accumulated on our teeth. Removing this plaque will keep your gums and teeth stay healthy and prevent any future problems like gingivitis and cavities. As you eat and drink colored foods, the pigments present in them are absorbed into the tooth surface, which begins to stain gradually. Brushing your teeth twice will reduce these discolorations. So don’t rush through it, give it the whole 2 minutes.
4. Floss at least once a day: Flossing removes the plaque and debris that cannot be removed by brushing. About 35% of the tooth surface cannot be accessed by the toothbrush. Using a floss you are able to remove bacteria and food particles from the sides of your teeth thus preventing prevents cavities and gums issues that arise in between teeth and below the gum line.
5. Use a Fluoride mouthwash: Buy the flavor of a mouthwash you like that contains fluoride and use it daily. Besides maintaining a fresh breath, you will do a big favor to your teeth by making them strong. The fluoride in the mouth rinse fortifies teeth and can reverse decay that is very small and not yet become a cavity.
6. Visit your dentist regularly: A regular visit to the dentist for a thorough professional cleaning and check up will prevent any problems in the future and also detect dental problems when they are small enough and can be treated without pain.
Set these reasonable goals that will better your dental health. Make it a priority and maintain an excellent oral health year long.