Tonight is New Year’s Eve, which means it’s about time to get your resolutions for the new year in order! Lifetime Family Dental and Dr. Norton, your dentist in Gilbert, hope that you include a resolution or two that will help your oral health in 2016. Weight loss and getting into shape are common resolutions for most people, why not double down with the health theme and do some things that are good for both your overall and dental health. Here are a list of a few healthy ideas to add your list of New Year’s Resolutions.
The Obvious: Stop Smoking
In addition to the ick factor and smell, there are seemingly hundreds of health-related reasons to quit smoking. If you’re in the minority that still smokes, it’s likely you already know the risks and are choosing the “ignore the problem until it goes away” approach. Let us state the obvious: that approach doesn’t work. You are twice as likely to lose your teeth if you smoke. It also increases the risk for gum recession, cavities, gum disease, tooth discoloration and lung, throat and oral cancers. The silver lining? It’s not too late to quit. The risk of tooth loss comes back down after you quit using smokeless tobacco and smoking.
Get Fruity (and Vegetable-y)
The eating healthy side of dental health is often overlooked. Sure, you should brush twice daily and floss at least once a day, but poor nutrition can damage your overall immune system, leading to an increased vulnerability to oral disorders like periodontal (gum) disease. Raw vegetables and crisp fruits like carrots, celery, broccoli and apples help freshen your breath by cleaning plaque from your teeth. These foods, along with legumes and nuts, are rich in antioxidants which improve your immune system’s response to inflammation and bacteria.
Take it Easy on the Booze
We know its hard to hear on New Year’s Eve, when the festivities are about to be underway. Alcohol over-consumption, like smoking and poor nutrition, affects both your oral and overall health in negative ways (we hope you’re starting to see the connection). Findings by the Academy of General Dentistry indicate that excessive drinking, poor nutrition, and smoking lead to an increase in gum recession. Those who both smoke and consume alcohol are also commonly less likely to brush their teeth and are less concerned with their personal health in general compared to their nonsmoking counterparts.
We hope you have a happy and healthy new year and choose to adapt at least one of our suggested resolutions if needed! Contact your favorite dentist in Gilbert, Dr. Norton at Lifetime Family Dental to schedule your first appointment in 2016 to start the year off on the right note!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/31/2015) Leandro Neumann Ciuffo(Flickr)