New year, new you, right?

It’s that time of year when we all create well-intentioned goals, and by now we’ve all slipped a few times. But, we’ve got a few ideas on some goals that never get old, and ones hat really aren’t that hard to implement. We’re talking about our oral health.

Keeping those pearly whites, white and pearly, and well…healthy isn’t a hard task, but it’s one that makes a big difference.  Recent studies suggest that our oral health is directly linked to other areas of our bodies. Problems such as gum disease, bone loss, even heart disease and strokes can be connected to poor oral hygiene. Yikes!

So, what you’re saying is that poor oral hygiene could cause heart disease?!

Yup…That’s exactly what we’re saying.  A few little habits in 2017 could make a BIG difference in your overall health.

Brush twice a day.

This one is a gimme, right?  You’ve been hearing your entire life that you should brush twice a day.  While this should be a given, the ADA recently found that only about 50% of men and women actually do this!  50%!  So, if you’re part of this 50%, maybe it’s time to start with this as your New Year’s goal.  It’s a good place to start.

Floss, Floss and Floss  

Raise your hand if you’ve ever lied to your hygienist about how often you floss.  Odds are most people have lied about it at some point.  It is a chore and a habit many forget to do in the rush to get out the door, or when tired and crawling in to bed. Daily flossing removes the food particles and other substances detrimental to your oral hygiene. Those tiny bits of food are cavity culprits and silent, but dangerous dental problems.

Clean Your Tongue

Okay, so maybe you brush twice a day, AND you’re good with flossing, but are you good with scraping your tongue? Cleaning the surface of your tongue with a professional tongue cleaner removes bad bacteria that can live on your tongue. The rougher top surface of your tongue can contain bacteria that contributes towards bad breath (halitosis) and impacts your oral hygiene.  Instead of popping those sugary breath mints and jaw-breaking gum, let’s give the tongue a little healthy cleaning instead!

Visit your dentist

Just do it! We know we’re not always as much fun as going to a U2 concert, but it’s vital.  Life gets busy and the months can get away from you easily. Scheduling regular check-ups once every 6 months with your dentist can highlight any problems with your oral health and put together a game plan to manage the issues before they spread or becoming a larger concern.  Early treatment is much better than dealing with major tooth issues….trust us!

Healthy Eating

You don’t hear dentists talking about this much, but you’ll hear us say it:  healthy food helps your mouth.  Period.  Not only is healthy eating good for your overall health but it can benefit your oral health as well. Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Zinc, Copper, Iodine, Iron, and Potassium are the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy teeth and gums. They can be found in the foods you eat, as well as milk and fortified orange juice.

Try to use moderation with foods of high sugar content. Sticky candies aren’t the best, because the sugars can linger around.  Moderation is also a good idea with Alcohol and tobacco. They can stain your teeth and weaken your enamel. Of course, we’re here to help when your teeth are stained, chipped, or cracked.

None of these resolutions, or goals, are really that hard, but they can make a big difference.  Start with one, or go for them all.  Your smile, your heart, and the person you’re talking to at a party will thank you!