According to research, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Usually this means you didn’t set a realistic goal for your resolution and found it too hard to resist the temptation to fall back into bad habits. Does that mean we should scrap resolutions? Of course not—especially when they deal with dropping behaviors we know are unhealthy.
If you have some unhealthy behaviors you need extra motivation to reduce or remove from your life, here’s a little help. All these resolutions are also excellent ways to improve your oral health and help you take better care of your teeth and gums.
If one of your lifetime resolutions is to hold onto your teeth, perhaps this will help you stay on track and keep pushing unhealthy behaviors farther and farther from your routine.
Drink Less Alcohol – There are multiple health benefits to moderating your alcohol consumption. According to the latest research, there are health benefits to having no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks for men. Any more than that, however, and the risks outweigh the benefits. In addition to being bad for your overall health, excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
Stop Using Tobacco Products – In addition to raising your risk of oral cancer, tobacco products of all sorts (cigarettes, dip, snuff, chew) wreak havoc on your oral health. Gum disease is more prevalent in tobacco users, and smoking can make it so you don’t even see some of the more common early warning signs, such as bleeding gums. Constant contact with tobacco or its smoke will stain your teeth and harm your enamel, as well. If you want to keep your teeth for life, quitting smoking should be one of your highest priorities.
Get Organized – If you feel like your life is constantly spinning out of control, or that your home is too cluttered for your liking, getting organized may be high on your list of priorities. How can this affect your oral health? If you feel like you are constantly hitting moving targets, there’s a good chance you are letting some little things slide. Maybe those things include flossing at the end of every day or keeping your six-month dental appointments. Taking control of your life and being more intentional is highly correlated with good health, all around.
Lose Weight – You don’t have to be physically fit to have good oral hygiene, but the same good habits that will help you lose weight are also really, really good for your teeth and gums.
- Cutting soda out of your diet will help you maintain strong tooth enamel.
- Drinking more water (and less alcohol) will help prevent gum inflammation.
- Reducing your intake of junk food, sugars, and processed white flours will help you prevent cavities.
- Eating more healthy fruits and vegetables can help you keep your teeth clean between brushings.
Get More Sleep – Did you know that chronic sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your whole body? When you don’t get the full regenerative and restorative benefits of regular adequate sleep, you become more likely to develop skin infections, mouth sores, and cognitive problems. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your gums to be more prone to inflammation. This can contribute to the onset or worsening of gingivitis or gum disease. Since gum disease is not curable, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss, this may give you a little extra motivation to get to bed earlier whenever possible!
Are you ready to take back control of your overall and oral health? Start by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Gary Nack for a check-up and teeth cleaning. Our Holland, PA dental office serves patients from Village Shires, Feasterville-Trevose, and Southampton, as well as Buck County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.