9 New Year’s Resolutions to Ensure Optimal Oral Health

Feb 17, 2023
9 New Year’s Resolutions to Ensure Optimal Oral Health
One of the best resolutions you can make is to take better care of your teeth. Learn more about what you can do to improve your oral health.

Most of us make New Year’s resolutions but many abandon them early into the year. Making resolutions can be very successful if you have enough motivation to keep up with the new habits.

If you want your New Year’s resolution to make a lasting impact, consider building habits to ensure optimal oral health. The providers at Whole Body Dental in Bellevue, Washington, offer comprehensive preventative dentistry and explain more about some of the best habits you can develop to improve your oral health.

Why oral health matters

You may wonder what’s the big deal, anyway. It’s only your teeth, right? Well, it turns out that there are many ways that your oral health affects your overall health, too.

If you don’t keep up with your oral health, you can have all kinds of other health problems. Poor oral health can affect you in many ways, including the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Endocarditis (swelling of the lining of your heart muscle)
  • Pneumonia
  • Complications with pregnancy and childbirth

Most of these effects take time to develop, so the damage is cumulative and builds over time.

Good habits for your oral health

If you want to create healthier habits to improve your oral health, here are nine suggestions you might want to try.

1. Visit the dentist regularly

You want to make sure that you’re regularly getting dental cleanings. Preventive dentistry can help you to stay on top of your oral health. We recommend a dental cleaning and exam twice a year if possible.

2. Don’t smoke (or quit, if you do)

Smoking is a bad habit from a health perspective. There aren’t any positives or health benefits associated with smoking. Even if you don’t have any health problems from smoking yet, that doesn’t mean these won’t develop over time. Smoking has negative effects on your oral health, including increasing your risk of gum (periodontal) disease.

3. Limit alcohol intake

Drinking alcohol is a fun pastime for many people, but it can quickly get out of hand. When you drink too much, it can damage your oral health. Limit your alcohol intake to at most one or two drinks per day.

4. Look at your medications

Some medications have the side effect of causing dry mouth, which can damage your oral health. You may want to ask your doctor whether or not there’s an alternate medication you can use instead. If you can’t avoid taking medications that cause dry mouth, drink water to minimize the medication’s drying effects and chew sugarless gum.

5. Drink fluoridated water

You should be drinking lots of water. However, drinking water without fluoride could damage your teeth. Fluoride protects your teeth from cavities.

6. Brush and floss your teeth daily

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Although it may sound simple, these habits can do a great deal to prevent dental problems.

7. Decrease your sugar intake

There’s a reason why you should avoid excessive sugar intake, and it’s not just because consuming a lot of sugar can cause weight gain. Sugar can cause dental cavities, which may later need cavity fillings. In some cases, you may even need a root canal, crown, or other restorative dental work.

8. Replace your toothbrush

You should replace your toothbrush every three months, even if it doesn’t seem like you need it. Your toothbrush bristles get worn down over time, which makes the toothbrush less effective at cleaning your teeth.

9. If you have diabetes, get it under control

If you have diabetes, controlling it is crucial for your health, including your oral health. Make sure you follow doctor-recommended practices, like a low-sugar diet, regular exercise, and checking your glucose levels.

If you haven’t recently had a dental cleaning or exam, you should get one as soon as possible. Contact the providers at Whole Body Dental or request an appointment online today.