2016 Goals for Your Teeth

There are many worthwhile resolutions to set for the New Year, but if you have always set a goal to be healthier there is something you should know: good dental health can help with your overall health. You will thank yourself in the future for making your mouth a priority, so to help you in your efforts, consider the following goals.

Brush and Floss Twice a Day

Good teeth are often the result of good oral hygiene. It is important to brush and floss twice each day to prevent gum disease and decay. You should also change your toothbrush a few times each year.

Use Fluoride

It is also smart to look for toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain fluoride. This can strengthen the enamel on your teeth. However, it should be used sparingly, especially in young children.

Rinse After Eating

Rinsing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth after meals is a great habit that can promote oral health. Rinsing your mouth can minimize bacteria and help prevent gum problems.

Choose the Right Foods

The foods you eat can also improve your oral health. There is research that indicates that omega-3 fats strengthen your gums and reduce disease. It is also a good idea to eat a well-balanced diet that is filled with protein (lean meats), grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. In addition, try to avoid consuming too much sugar as an abundance of sugar can cause the enamel on the teeth to decay.

Get Regular Checkups

Regular appointments with a dentist can also help you prevent oral health issues and care for your teeth. If you have young children, make sure they visit the doctor early. In most cases, every six months is appropriate for a checkup. However, people with gum disease should see the dentist more often.

Make these goals a part of your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions. By following them, you can promote oral health and enjoy a beautiful smile.

Folic Acid: An Essential Nutrient for Dental Health

When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, you may just think that as long as you brush and floss every day your mouth will be perfectly healthy. However, you also need to maintain a healthy diet to keep your pearly whites in pristine condition. Something that should absolutely be part of a balanced diet is folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, and without it, you could be facing some serious health risks.

Gum Disease

Folic acid assists with cell repair, so if you are at risk of developing gum disease, then it can help combat the disease by helping repair the cells in your gums. A surprising number of Americans (almost 50 percent) have some form of gum disease, whether it is gingivitis or periodontitis, so Vitamin B9 should be taken daily. Folic acid is water soluble, meaning it cannot be stored in the body, so you need to consume some every day in order to take advantage of the benefits.

Birth Defects

Although more research needs to be done, many experts believe there is a link between pregnant women who do not take enough folic acid and the presence of certain birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate. These issues can necessitate speech therapy or surgeries later in life, so many dental professionals recommend pregnant women err on the side of caution and take in plenty of Vitamin B9 during their pregnancy.

It is fairly easy to consume enough folic acid to avoid these issues. It can be found in numerous food sources, including:

  • Broccoli
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Peanuts
  • Asparagus
  • Beets

Additionally, folic acid can also be found in numerous fortified breads and grains, so you can also get it through cereal or pasta. To make sure you are getting enough, check food labels to see how much you are getting in a single serving. It is an important vitamin, and you should take enough in your day-to-day life.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mouth

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mouth

If you’re like most people, the coming of a new year is a time to think about making new year’s resolutions for a healthier, happier you. If you’re tired of making—and breaking—the same resolutions to save money, get more organized, or lose weight, think about these four simple resolutions you can make for a healthier mouth, which can lead to better overall health.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

If this sounds like a resolution for weight loss, consider that eating more fruits and vegetables, and a healthier diet all around, can help you lose weight at the same time that it improves your oral health. Nutrients in fruits and vegetables help to build your immune system, improving your ability to fight off infection like gum disease, inflammation, and bacteria in your mouth. Raw, crispy fruits also help reduce plaque buildup on the teeth, leading to fresher breath and fewer cavities. As a bonus, it will also help you work toward that other weight loss resolution.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the main causes of oral decay, including tooth discoloration, cavities, receding gums, infection, and lung and oral cancers. Both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco can double your risk of losing your teeth, but fortunately once you stop smoking, the risk of tooth loss and other diseases immediately decrease.

Start Flossing

If you think your mouth is healthy because you already brush twice a day, it could be a lot healthier if you add flossing to that routine. Flossing helps remove hard-to-reach plaque that builds up between teeth and near the gum line, where you toothbrush can’t reach, and where gum disease often begins. It only takes 2 minutes to floss your teeth, so if you add that to your 2 minutes of brushing in the morning and night, you’re still spending less than 10 minutes a day to get a healthier mouth.

Go See a Dentist

There is no substitute for seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, make a new year’s resolution to schedule an appointment. Your dentist can help you identify and prevent oral health problems before they become major issues, and may notice subtle signs of disease that you would otherwise not see on your own. There are affordable places you can go for dental care, including the Dental Clinic at Roseman University, if you don’t have a dentist or you can’t afford to go to the dentist because you don’t have insurance.