As we prepare to enter the new year, people all over the world are making resolutions to get healthier. Whether that means going to the gym more often or eating healthier, the team at our Columbia dental office wants to get involved by helping you set realistic resolutions. Here are five things you can do that will not only help you reach your goal of getting healthier but can improve your oral health too.
#1 - Stay Hydrated
Choosing to drink more water and staying away from sugary drinks such as soda can benefit your entire body, including your mouth. Water is necessary for proper body function and is a key part of maintaining a healthy smile. Sipping on water throughout the day helps keep the mouth moist so plaque and bacteria don’t settle in and cause problems. This year, commit to drinking the recommended eight, 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
#2 - Kick the Habit
Smoking is one of the leading causes of health problems including heart disease, respiratory problems, and cancer. It’s also a habit that can contribute to several oral health problems such as discolored teeth, gum disease, and oral cancer. Even if smoking is the only resolution you’re making to yourself this year, it’s a great one to stick with. Your mouth and your whole body will thank you.
#3 - Eat More of the Good Stuff
With our busy lives, it can be difficult to fit in a healthy diet. But packing your body full of nutrient-rich foods such as raw fruits and veggies can be great for your health. These foods are loaded with antioxidants that can help fight off dangerous bacteria and lower inflammation. They’re also great for our smiles for the same reasons. Even the texture of some fruits and veggies such as apples or carrots can gently scrub away plaque and help protect teeth.
#4 - Lower Alcohol Intake
With all of the holiday parties and celebrations this time of year, we know reducing your alcohol intake can be difficult. But the benefits of lowering how much alcohol you drink and how often you drink it are plentiful. Limiting your alcohol intake can help with weight loss and improve liver function. It can also help improve oral health; less alcohol in the mouth means more opportunity for saliva production. This saliva is crucial to helping neutralize acid, wash away bacteria, and remove plaque. Without saliva, the mouth is at increased risk for cavities, decay, and other oral health problems. Make a commitment to yourself now to lower how much alcohol you plan to drink in the coming year.
#5 - See Your Dentist in Columbia
If you’ve been putting off dental visits in the past, make a resolution to see your dentist at least every six months from now on. These bi-annual checkups not only help catch any problems early when treatment is still easy and less costly, they can also help your dentist diagnose any other potential whole-body problems before they have a chance to affect the rest of the body.
If you’re making new year’s resolutions to get healthier in 2019, don’t forget that your mouth plays a key role in overall health. In fact, poor oral health has been linked to many systemic health problems including heart disease and diabetes. Make a promise to yourself this year and schedule an appointment at our dental office in Columbia today.
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