A new year is almost upon us. Whether 2017 been great year for you or if it is one you want to forget, it all starts afresh next month in 2018.

After the hustle and bustle of Christmas, many turn their energy and attention to reflecting the past year and making goals and resolutions to make them a better, healthier person in the next year.

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is getting healthy and into tip-top physical shape.

Have you ever thought about making a resolution to better your oral health? Maybe 2017 was a year that you neglected your oral health and now you’re paying the consequences with fillings, crowns and periodontal treatment.

Poor dental hygiene not only results in tooth decay and gum disease, it can also have negative effects on your overall health.

Resolving to care for your teeth and gums helps your body be healthy and strong.

What are some dental resolutions you can adopt and commit to in 2018?

Here’s a list to help get your mind thinking:

  1. Floss every day. It is surprising how many children and adults don’t floss on a daily basis. Even though patients are aware of the necessity of including flossing in their oral hygiene routine, many are uncomfortable flossing or aren’t patient enough to set aside time to floss.

Brushing one’s teeth, even the most thorough brushing, is not substitute for flossing. Floss can penetrate down between teeth and just below the gum line; things that a toothbrush can’t do.

Flossing once a day, preferably at night before going to bed, can dramatically decrease the amount of cavity and gum disease causing plaque and tartar build-up.

  1. Don’t eat as much candy. The holidays are infamous for being loaded with candy, cakes, and cookies. All of which add to your waistline and an increased accumulation of plaque on and between teeth.

Candy and sweets have high caloric and weight-gaining sugar that, when mixed with saliva, causes a cavity-causing film to develop over teeth. If not promptly cleaned, severe tooth decay and tooth loss can occur over time.

  1. Improve your diet. Similarly, starchy, sticky, carb-loaded foods and drinks can also wreak havoc on your dental health as well as your overall health. The sugars in these foods have the same tooth decaying byproduct as candy and sweets when interacting with saliva.

Teeth, like bone and nails need minerals and vitamins, especially calcium, to be healthy and strong. Foods that have a lot of protein are also good for oral health.

A healthy diet is not only good for your teeth and gums, but is also beneficial for your overall health.

  1. See the dentist regularly. You’ve always have been told it is important to visit the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam. Many Americans aren’t always on top of seeing their dentists regularly. Whether it is fear, costs or inconvenience, many patients don’t schedule their bi-annual dental exams.

While these dental cleanings and examinations may not seem like a big deal, they are often the only time the dentist can spot possible or developing oral health issues that you may not be aware of. Like medical treatment, early intervention is less expensive, less time-consuming and more effective than treatment.

  1. Drink more water. Many adults don’t drink nearly as much water as doctors recommend. Our bodies are over 80% water, making the drinking of water vital to great bodily and oral health. Sufficient water drinking also betters one’s mood and help one stay focused. Water is important in rinsing out the mouth after meals while away from the toothbrush and dental floss.

It is a good idea to swish your mouth out after each meal or snack during the day. The water will not remove all the leftover food particles stuck between teeth, but it can break them down and remove some of it.

Instead of reaching for that soda, tea, coffee, energy drink or juice, choose a cup of water. Your brain, body and mouth will thank you.

When you make your New Year’s resolutions this year, be sure to include improving your dental health. There are many easy ways you can better care for teeth and gums including drinking more water, flossing once a day, and watching your diet.

The beginning of the new year is a great time to come and make an appointment with Family Dental Health Center. You’ll start the year off with clean, healthy teeth and be equipped to take proactive steps in maintaining your healthy teeth and gums and your beautiful smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.