Get a Fit Smile This Year!

Posted on January 5, 2018 in General oral health

The new year is a time for picking resolutions and sticking to them (for as long as possible). In addition to working out and eating healthy, why not consider the “fitness” of your teeth?

Along with building strong muscles, take these steps to build strong enamel.1

  • Limit sugary foods and drinks. Bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars found in certain foods and drinks. These bacteria then create acids that attack and wear down tooth enamel. Looks like that root beer float isn't so sweet when it comes to your teeth.
  • Eat foods high in calcium. Calcium-rich foods counter these acids by rebuilding enamel and helping bones and teeth stay strong. To help get your daily calcium fix, reach for snacks like cheese, broccoli or yogurt.
  • Use fluoride. To protect teeth, fluoride helps strengthen enamel and repairs the first stages of tooth decay. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. You can also get a dose of fluoride through certain mouthwashes, fluoride treatments at the dentist and from most tap water.
  • Don't brush too hard. Resolve to brush for the full two minutes – just don't brush too fast or too hard. To avoid wearing down your enamel, brush gently, use an oval-shape motion and stick to a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Treat conditions that cause decay. Treating heartburn and certain eating disorders can help diminish the enamel-eroding effects of stomach acids.

Teeth aren't the only things to consider. Healthy gums are just as important when it comes to oral health.2 Here's how to keep yours in good shape.

  • Brush and floss daily. Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily can help prevent and sometimes even reverse gum disease. Pay special attention to the gumline when doing both.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar and reach plaque that you may have missed. Your dentist will also be able to identify signs of gum disease early so you can treat it effectively.
  • Don't smoke. Last, but certainly not least, stop or avoid smoking. Smoking makes it harder to fight gum disease by weakening the immune system and makes it more difficult for gums to heal when they've already been damaged.

With these tips, you can have a winning smile all year round.