Make Some 2020 Oral Health Care Resolutions!

oral health care resolutions

The New Year is just around the corner and a great time for making some oral health care resolutions. Here are some to consider.

Oral Health Care Resolution 1: Eating Healthier 

When it comes to your smile, how you fuel can make all the difference. It is important to consider what comes in contact with your tooth enamel and what feeds your tooth structure, nutritionally. Both are important for safeguarding the health of your teeth today and for years to come. 

In 2020, when committing to your oral health care resolutions, consider making the following additions or changes to your diet recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to best support dental health:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups. Options include: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes; and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
  • Limit your snacking. When choosing a snack, reach for fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. (Remember, eating snacks throughout the day is NOT the best practice for healthy teeth. More saliva is released during a meal than when you snack. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities. If you are going to snack, make sure you drink water after to help with the lack of saliva production.)

Oral Health Care Resolution 2: Improving your brushing habits. 

You may feel like you have this one down, but most of us aren’t brushing long enough or in the right well. And, how about that toothbrush? How long have you had it? Without the proper tools, time and technique, toothbrushing loses its effectiveness. 

The ADA recommends that teeth are brushed at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months. (Watch the bristles. If they are frayed, it’s time for a new brush. Choose an ADA-accepted, fluoride toothpaste to aid in your fight against cavities. 

Proper tooth brushing technique can help you get the most out of your cleaning session. To begin, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and then gently apply a brushing motion in short strokes along the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth. 

Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. 

Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Give each of the four quadrants of your mouth equal attention, with the goal to brush for 2 minutes. 

Oral Health Care Resolution 3: Committing to flossing once a day.

All sides of your teeth need to be cleaned to keep tooth decay away. Toothbrushes fail at reaching between the teeth in the way that floss can. To ensure that you have removed food debris from between your teeth, commit to flossing once a day. 

Flossing is essential for keeping your mouth and gums healthy. Your best efforts at a healthy mouth will be in vain without flossing. 

Oral Health Care Resolution 4: Quitting smoking and using tobacco products.

Tobacco use in any form is not only horrible for the body but extremely damaging to your teeth. 

“All of the major forms of tobacco used in the U.S. have oral health consequences,” the ADA writes.  Cigarette smoking is linked to several adverse oral effects such as: gingival recession, impaired healing following periodontal therapy, oral cancer, mucosal lesions, periodontal disease, and tooth staining.

Smokeless tobacco is just as dangerous and is shown to augment your risk for oral cancer and oral mucosal lesions.  “Smokeless tobacco use also causes oral conditions such as gingival keratosis, tooth discoloration, halitosis, enamel erosion, gingival recession, alveolar bone damage, periodontal disease, coronal or root-surface dental caries due to sugars added to the product, and tooth loss.”

Oral Health Care Resolution 5: Reducing your intake of sugar and soda.

Along with oral health care resolution number one above, eating healthy for a healthier mouth (and body) means you need to reduce your intake of sugar and soda. 

Note, there is a difference between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables. Naturally occurring sugars are better for the body, added sugars are not. Both can damage teeth so still brush after exposure to sugars. Soft drinks are packed with sugars and return no nutritional value.  

Need a number to shoot for Healthline provides the following data:

The American Heart Association recommends that the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)

Consider using a food-tracking app like MyFittnessPal to log your food intake and monitor your daily sugar consumption–you will be surprised at how much sugar your diet has! Knowing the numbers can help you make the changes you need.

Oral Health Care Resolution 6: Scheduling regular dental visits.

It is so much easier to prevent an oral issue than to have to treat one. By scheduling regular 6-month cleanings and exams you allow our team to get a up-close view of your teeth, gums and mouth. These exams allow us to assess for threatening issues like: diabetes, systemic disorders, high blood pressure, oral cancer, gum and bone disease, deteriorating cardiovascular health and sinus problems. 

Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss for American adults, and oral cancer causes more than 7,500 deaths each year. Detected and treated early, these diseases can be controlled, reduced or eliminated.

Call Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies today to get started with your 2020 oral health care resolutions at (970) 223-6101!