New Year's Resolution: Take Care Of Your Teeth Through Lifestyle Changes

Posted on: 28 December 2014

The New Year is here and many people are reflecting upon the ways in which they can improve themselves in 2015. This year, make dental care your priority. While the most obvious way that you can care for your teeth may be to see the dentist every 6 months, there are many ways that you can take care of your teeth in 2015. These lifestyle changes will improve your dental hygiene, fight off gum disease and may even brighten your smile.

Drink More Water

Resolve to drink water at meals and throughout the day. Drinking water can improve your oral health in the following ways:

  • As long as you're drinking water, you're not drinking soda.
  • Drinking water after meals helps flush away bacteria that can damage your teeth and gums.
  • Much of the tap water in the United States is fluoridated, meaning that with every drink you take, you can prevent tooth decay. 

Brush Your Teeth After Eating

Brushing your teeth after eating is a good way keep your teeth healthy. However, brushing directly after acidic meals can actually contribute to tooth decay by pushing acids deeper into the enamel. To prevent this from happening, wait at least 30 minutes after eating acidic foods before brushing your teeth--or brush your teeth before the meal, when you know that you'll be eating or drinking an acidic food or beverage. 

Reduce Your Stress

This may come as a surprise, but stress actually plays a big role in dental hygiene. Stress negatively impacts the body's immune system, which in turn can reduce the body's ability to fight off bacteria in the mouth. This contributes to gingivitis and periodontitis. To improve your oral health, participate in activities that reduce your stress levels. Meditation, yoga and exercise are all common activities that people use to manage and reduce stress. Whatever method you choose to reduce stress, resolve to engage in these activities on a regular basis in the coming year. 

Use Straws to Drink Sugary Beverages

Drinking sugary beverages is never recommended by dentists. However, if you do choose to consume sugary drinks like soda, using a straw reduces contact between the drink and your teeth. This is an easy way to protect your teeth from some of the damaging effects of sugar.

Making these changes to your habits in 2015 will almost certainly help improve your oral hygiene. For more helpful suggestions and ways that you can improve your oral health, speak with your dentist during your next visit.