As we look ahead to 2018, many of us will be thinking about New Year resolutions. Here are 5 ideas from Kitchener & Waterloo Emergency Dental Services to help you develop healthy habits in the New Year.
- Maintain a Good Routine of Oral Hygiene
The condition of your teeth and gums can affect your overall well-being. For instance, if your gums become inflamed, the infection can spread to other parts of your body, including the lungs and heart. So regular brushing and flossing is imperative.
Make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, in the morning and just before bedtime, and floss at least once a day. Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to give your oral health a further boost.
Use a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste. Align the brush at 45 degrees towards the gum line. Move the brush back and forth gently, in circular movements over the front, back and biting edge of your teeth.
Regular brushing and flossing will help to prevent gum disease (gingivitis), tooth cavities (dental caries) and bad breath (halitosis).
- Watch What You Eat!
Sugary and starchy foods and drinks and those high in acid content make your teeth more susceptible to decay. Teeth-friendly foods include melons, bananas, cucumbers, lettuce, milk, poultry, seafood, eggs and pasta. Fruits to avoid because of high acidity include peaches, apples, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums and raspberries. Other foods high in acid are tomatoes, pickles, barbecue sauces, salsas and pickles.
Drinks like sodas are particularly damaging for teeth because they not only contain acidic additives but also have a high level of sugar, which further increases the risk of cavities. Studies have shown that diet sodas are just as harmful as regular sodas in weakening tooth enamel.
- Get Regular Dental Check-Ups
Routine check-ups by your dentist are crucial to detect any signs of potential teeth or gum problems before they take hold. The condition of your oral health can also provide warning signs of issues with your overall wellbeing, and dental problems can affect other areas of your body if undetected. Besides cavities and gum disease, your dentist can spot signs of many other health problems including oral cancer, diabetes and sinus infections.
- Quit Smoking
If you smoke, you’re doubling your risk of developing gum disease, and the habit is also linked to a host of other health problems. The Reader’s Digest magazine has drawn up a list of 20-plus ways to help you kick the smoking habit, including healthy alternatives to overcome the craving for a cigarette. Your doctor or dentist can also offer advice on the best ways to quit smoking.
- Take Regular Exercise
Regular exercise has both short-term and long-term health benefits. It reduces stress and helps to prevent problems such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It also makes you feel good about yourself! You don’t have to sign up to a gym to get regular exercise. A brisk 20-minute walk can instantly improve your mood by releasing endorphins that trigger a positive feeling.
Kitchener & Waterloo Emergency Dental Services wishes all our patients a Healthy and Happy New Year.