Habit Changes That Can Lead To A Healthier Mouth

Your dental health is a critical part of your overall health, so you need to spend time taking proper care of it. The good news — you have a lot of control over your oral health. In fact, if you want more beautiful, resilient teeth, consider making these seven habit changes.

1. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Studies show there’s a direct link between the amount of sugar you eat and tooth decay. Simply reducing your sugar intake can significantly lower your risk for tooth decay. The best way to do this — don’t indulge in sugary treats. Stop drinking soda. Don’t suck on hard candy. Limit cookies, cakes and other baked goods. It doesn’t mean you can’t indulge occasionally, but you should cut back for the sake of your teeth.

2. Eat Mouth-Healthy Foods
Cutting sugar is important, but eating mouth-healthy foods regularly also helps improve your oral health. Dairy products packed with calcium are excellent for your teeth. Fibrous foods such as raw veggies increase saliva and help scrub away leftover food bits and plaque. If you still have a sweet craving, eat fruit instead.

3. Drink More Water
You’re probably not drinking enough water. It’s easy to opt for juices, sodas and coffee throughout the day, but you still need at least eight glasses of water. Not only is water good for your total health, but it’s great for your oral hygiene. It helps rinse sticky and sugary substances left on your teeth. Remind yourself to drink water throughout the day until it turns into a habit.

4. Start Using a Straw
Anytime you’re drinking something besides water, use a straw. If you’re drinking sugary beverages, dark sodas, or staining drinks like tea or coffee, the straw helps a bit. The straw makes sure those liquids are funneled to the back of the mouth, so they don’t spend as much time on your teeth. This can reduce staining and keep sugar from sticking on your teeth. Please proceed with caution when drinking hot beverages, though!

5. Floss Daily
You know that flossing is important, but many people don’t floss daily. Simply brushing isn’t enough to access hard-to-reach plaque that’s on your teeth. Flossing is a crucial part of your dental hygiene routine. Start making it a habit this year.

6. Kick the Tobacco Habit
Smoking or using other forms of tobacco can take a heavy toll on your oral health. Using tobacco increases your risk of gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer. It’s not easy to quit, but you can work with your primary care physician to get the support you need to help you quit. Not only will it improve your dental health, but quitting also offers significant overall health benefits.

7. Schedule Those Routine Dental Cleanings and Checkups
According to the American Dental Association, around 33 percent of people in America don’t visit the dentist yearly. If you want good oral health, visit your dentist every six months. Those regular cleanings remove plaque you can’t get rid of by brushing, and routine checkups can find dental problems early while they’re still easy to treat.

Making these changes in your life can have a significant impact. Remember, taking good care of your mouth now means you can enjoy great oral health for years to come.