Have you been thinking about choosing a New Year’s resolution lately? Among the most common New Year’s resolutions are ones related to health – eating healthier, exercising more, losing weight, etc. But one important health-related goal most people don’t consider is the resolution to have a healthier smile!
Why Should You Resolve to Have a Healthier Smile in 2022?
A healthy mouth is incredibly important to your overall health.
Numerous studies show that poor oral health is linked with serious health issues, such as heart and lung diseases, stroke, premature birth and low birth rate in women. Bacterial spread from unhealthy mouths and gums can be carried via the bloodstream directly to our vital organs, and have tremendous negative effects on our overall health. And conversely, certain health conditions like diabetes have been shown to have a direct negative effect on our oral health, such as the increased risk of bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Over 90% of systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the entire body) have oral health manifestations. Having good oral health is a major component of having good overall health!
A healthy smile affects how you are perceived.
In an Academy of General Dentistry survey, 96% of respondents believed a smile is vital to a person's appearance, and 40% said the first thing they notice in people they meet is their smile. Having an attractive, healthy smile can positively influence how you are perceived in social and professional situations – and having confidence in your smile can greatly improve your self-esteem and quality of life.
Simple Steps for Improving Your Oral Health in 2022
Brush for 2 minutes, 2x a day.
The average tooth brushing time is only about 45 seconds, which is less than half the recommended time of two minutes. Make it your New Year’s Resolution to brush for the full 2 minutes twice a day, making sure to thoroughly clean all sides and surfaces of each tooth in your mouth. We can all take 4 total minutes out of each day to brush, and it will go a long way to preventing cavities while brightening your smile, too!
Floss every day!
Brushing alone only cleans about 60% of our teeth’ surfaces, while flossing cleans the remaining 40%! Flossing daily greatly improves tooth and gum health, reduces bad breath, reduces the risk of cavities, and even helps brighten your smile. We know it can be tough getting into the habit of flossing every day, but sticking to it will reap long-term benefits for your oral health throughout 2022 and beyond.
A healthy, well-balanced diet is more important for good oral health than you may realize!
Cut back on foods and drinks with added sugar. There is a direct link between the amount of sugar consumed and the amount of tooth decay (cavities) a person has. Try easy substitutions, like drinking sugar-free flavored sparkling water instead of soda, and chewing on sugar-free gum when the craving for sweets hits.
Drink lots of water. Water is essential to the proper function of every single part of our bodies, and drinking fluoridated water, in particular, helps keep teeth strong and resistant against cavities. Sipping water after eating or drinking is also a great habit to get into - it helps rinse away food debris and sugars from your teeth.
Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Essential nutrients and powerful antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts help our bodies’ ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, which helps protect teeth and gums. Plus, crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots help scrub plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
Smoke and tobacco use of ALL kinds has tremendous health risks to our mouths and bodies. In the mouth alone, tobacco use hugely increases the risk of developing: stained teeth, bad breath, cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancers.
Oral health is a major component of overall health and wellness, and can also do a great deal to boost others’ perception of you as well as your self-confidence. In 2022, make the resolution to have a healthier smile - and be rewarded for it with better health, wellness, self-confidence and quality of life throughout the new year!
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