New Year's resolutions you can sink your teeth into
Posted on 1/23/2014 by Implant & Periodontal Associates NW
We're well into another new year. How have your resolutions been going? Many of us tend to make big promises to ourselves - losing that spare tire, saving for a new car, or finding a dream job - that are sometimes hard to keep.
Dental resolutions, on the other hand, can be relatively simple and easy. And even small changes in your habits can pay off in better health and a more attractive smile. So if you haven't already, why not add one or more of these resolutions to your list:
Go for the greens: No matter whether you're five or 55, "eat your veggies" is a good mantra to keep in mind. And green vegetables are among the best choices of all. Broccoli helps prevent acid from eroding your enamel. Spinach is a good source of calcium, which is essential to strong bones and teeth. And avocados are high in folate, which helps protect against gum disease.
Floss daily: Brushing your teeth is a good start, especially if you are brushing your teeth at the gum line, but if you're not flossing, you risk exposing about 40 percent of your tooth surfaces to harmful plaque. Periodontal disease happens between the teeth, and flossing is your first line of defense against gum and periodontal problems. In addition to its plaque removal benefits, flossing also stimulates the gum tissue, which improves blood flow and helps them stay healthy.
Avoid excess alcohol: That's one drink a day for women and two for men. Any more than that, and you increase your risk of gum recession and periodontal disease. And if you're the type who tends to mindlessly snack when you drink (or forget to brush before bed), you open the door to more plaque and decay.
Stick to a regular cleaning schedule: At our practice, most patients need a cleaning every three months in addition to a visit to their regular dentist once every six to 12 months. People prone to periodontal disease need more frequent professional cleanings, and all patients need regular dental exams to check for early signs of disease and fix small problems before they become big ones.
Invest in your smile and dental health: Since your teeth have to last you the rest of your life, you should treat them well! If you have pain while chewing, sensitive teeth, ill-fitting dentures or partials, or are missing one or more teeth, getting these problems fixed can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
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