When making your New Year’s resolution keep your oral health in mind. If you think you might be falling a little short in keeping up with your oral hygiene habits or want to improve your smile, follow these simple tips and you will be on your way to a happy and healthy new year!

See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups

Regular dental checkups are essential to your overall health.  Research shows that having good oral health may decrease overall inflammation in the body and prevent certain diseases not just related to your mouth.  Such illnesses include heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes brushing and flossing at home is not enough.  During a routine checkup the hygienist will provide you with a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tarter around the gum line and between the teeth.  Regular dental cleanings help to prevent gum disease, a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the gums.  If left untreated gum disease may lead to tooth loss.

Brush at Least Twice a Day

Skipping a brushing session is bad. Really bad. When you brush your teeth you remove food and the growth of bacteria also known as plaque.  The build up of plaque can lead to cavities and gum disease.  Most people brush their teeth two times a day but are most likely not brushing long enough.  It is recommended you spend 2 minutes each time you brush and make sure you are reaching all surfaces of the tooth.

Floss, Floss, Floss

It really doesn’t matter when you floss as long as you do it once a day.  Pick a time of day you can devote a couple extra minutes to your oral hygiene routine.  Dental floss is designed to clean the spaces between the teeth and gums where your toothbrush can’t reach.  Food particles and plaque can build up in those spaces if not removed by flossing.  A build up of plaque left for a period of time causes tarter which has to be removed during a dental hygiene visit.  Flossing daily will also decrease your risk of cavities.

Eat Plenty of Fruits & Vegetables 

Having a healthy immune system is not only important for your overall health but also helps protect against oral disorders such as gum disease.  Having a balanced diet improves your body’s ability to fight inflammation and bacteria.  Did you know that vegetables like raw carrots and celery help to clean plaque from your teeth?  They act as natural abrasives that “scrub” your teeth while chewing.

Say Cheese!

Did you know that cheddar, monetary jack, brie and gorgonzola cheeses all help to prevent tooth erosion? Tooth erosion is the wearing away of the enamel layer on your teeth.  The reason for this is cheese boosts the pH levels in your mouth creating a more alkaline environment that ultimately helps fight plaque, cavities and protects enamel.  The combination of cheese with wine is a very good idea as wines are acidic and cheese is a good tasting buffer.

Drink Plenty of Water

Not only does water keep you hydrated all day but it also helps to clean your mouth and teeth.  While you drink water you produce saliva that carries essential minerals into your teeth.  It also helps reduce Xerostomia, or dry mouth. Dry mouth increases the chances of plaque formation resulting in dental decay and periodontal disease.  Remember that many medications can result in dry mouth as well.

Don’t Put off Straightening your Teeth

Now is your chance to have the beautiful smile you deserve without anyone knowing.  Invisalign is a discreet and comfortable way to correct orthodontic issues without the hassle of braces.  Straightened teeth reside in a healthier environment as they are easier to clean while creating sound periodontal structure.  A confident smile is more attainable than you think with our no down payment and interest free financing through CareCredit.  Millions of people are choosing Invisalign for a more confident smile.  Call to schedule your consultation today!