Made any New Year’s resolutions? If so, how are they going? Many people vow to get healthier, look better, and save money–with mixed results. But dental resolutions are relatively easy to keep. And as a side benefit, you can accomplish all three goals just by taking care of your smile. In 2013, resolve to do one or more of the following:
Eat more fruits and vegetables: A healthy diet isn’t just good for the body. Many foods are also excellent for your teeth and gums. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a nutrient that interferes with plaque formation. Kiwis are rich in Vitamin C, essential for gum health. And apples help scrape plaque from the teeth while providing necessary antioxidants.
Floss every day: Brushing only reaches about 60% of your teeth’s surfaces. If you don’t floss, you risk gum damage and decay between the teeth. Oral plaque is also associated with an increased risk of serious diseases like heart attack and stroke.
Reduce alcohol consumption: Heavy drinkers are prone to periodontal disease and gum recession, which can have an aging effect on your smile. Even if you only indulge occasionally, you’re more likely to eat unhealthy food when drinking–and more likely to forget to brush and floss before bed.
Visit the dentist every 6 months: Many people put off hygiene visits, but they’re the best way to catch tiny problems early. You’ll save money in the long run if you make a commitment to regular exams and cleanings, rather than waiting until something’s clearly wrong.
Invest in your smile: If you’ve got a nagging issue like tooth sensitivity, pain while chewing, or just wish you had a more perfect smile, why not resolve to take care of it in 2013? Dental problems only get worse over time, and cosmetic or restorative work can make a huge difference in your looks and quality of life.