Dental health plays an important role in our overall well-being. Just ask anyone who has experienced tooth pain how difficult it is to focus while the pain is pulsing through their head, or anyone with a missing tooth how easy it is to eat a juicy steak. Additionally, poor dental health can be very expensive. Therefore, it becomes extremely important that we treat our dental health as a valuable investment. Just as we maintain the investments of our cars and homes, there are regular things that we can do to maintain and improve our dental health:
- First and foremost, take responsibility for your own dental health. You are ultimately responsible for your dental health and your choices for daily oral maintenance, not your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Brushing twice per day and flossing once a day will do more than any other thing to improve your dental health.
- Drink water instead of sugar-packed sodas and juices. Remember, we need about eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Creating this new habit will help you remain hydrated, while simultaneously helping your teeth and gums.
- Improve your dental health (and your waistline) by snacking on celery, carrots, cucumbers, and other vegetables instead of sugary treats. If you have trouble keeping track of what you are eating, record your meals and snacks in a food diary (be sure to record every piece of candy, snack, gum, or drink). After one week, review your food journal to evaluate whether you’re getting too many sweets and where you can start substituting healthy snacks.
- Be aware of tooth grinding. If you grind your teeth, talk to a dental professional about getting a tooth guard to help you prevent getting worn tooth enamel or increased tooth sensitivity.
- Develop a relationship with a dental professional you trust and ask for a dental health program tailored to your needs and budget.
Your dental health is important. Don’t wait to implement change. Make a resolution to take action now. Your mouth (and pocketbook) will thank you!