Dental care is not the first thing you think of when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but it should be. The state of your dental health impacts your overall health, and poor dental hygiene can have a negative impact on heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Here are great New Year’s resolutions that can support both your dental and general health:

Improve Your Home Care Routine. There is a reason why dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. These activities remove bacterial plaque and help prevent gum disease. Not only will these activities keep your teeth clean and your dental hygienist happy, but they also help avoid more painful and expensive dental problems later on.
Keep Your Dental Appointments (Twice a Year). Yes, dental appointments disrupt your schedule and aren’t a particularly fun way to spend your time, but they are important. Dental cleanings remove the plaque and tartar that have built up on your teeth and help keep your gums healthy. Also, annual x-rays allow the dentist to spot small problems before they become big ones. Prevent gum disease and avoid preventable problems by scheduling and keeping your dental appointments.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables. Poor nutrition affects your entire immune system and increases your susceptibility to common dental issues, such as gum disease. The antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables support your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation. Also, eating crisp foods, such as apples, carrots, and celery, helps to remove plaque from teeth.
Make Better Beverage Choices. Drinking sugary beverages increases your risk of developing cavities, and alcoholic beverages have been shown to result in an increase in gum disease. If what you’re drinking isn’t good for your general health, it probably isn’t good for your oral health either.
Change Your Toothbrush Every Six Months. There is a reason why your hygienist gives you a new toothbrush after a cleaning. The bristles break down over time and become less effective. When you purchase a new toothbrush, get one with soft bristles to avoid damage to your teeth and gums.
Stop Using Tobacco Products. Smoking and other tobacco products increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, gum recession, and oral cancer. Also, smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. The good news is that once you quit using tobacco products, these risks diminish.

In the coming year, please take good care of your oral and general health. Call Petrone Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment and receive support in meeting all of your dental health goals.