Six Steps Toward a Healthier 2023
By Dr. Sheila Strock on January 1, 2023 in General oral health
As we journey on into 2023, New Year’s resolutions for health and wellness remain more important than ever.
Your oral health is closely connected with your overall health. By taking care of your teeth and gums each day, you’re also taking steps toward better health and well-being for your whole body.
If you have fallen short on your New Year’s resolutions so far, don’t worry – it takes time to solidify new healthy habits. It's not too late to begin working on some oral health resolutions if you haven’t already.
Delta Dental of Illinois recommends six steps for a healthier you that you can re-focus on or begin today:
Schedule a Checkup With Your Dentist
Seeing your dentist regularly for preventive checkups helps to detect problems early. During an exam, your dentist can identify cavities and gum disease and notice signs of many diseases — including heart disease, diabetes, and oral cancer — which have symptoms that appear in the mouth. Early detection and treatment can prevent oral and overall health issues from getting worse. Make it a priority to schedule a dentist visit early on in 2023!
Improve Your Oral Health Routine
That includes flossing daily and brushing with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day. Nearly 80% of Americans have a certain level of gum disease.1 Staying vigilant with daily brushing and flossing can help to prevent tooth decay, which is nearly 100% preventable but remains one of the most common chronic diseases among children and adults.2
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Foods packed with lean protein and calcium — such as milk, cheese, chicken, fish, and eggs — help to keep your teeth strong. Fruits and vegetables are key to a balanced diet. Choose crunchy fruits and veggies, such as apples and carrots, to help stimulate saliva and clean your teeth.3
Drink More Water
Drinking an adequate amount of water each day is one of the best things you can do for your teeth and body. The water cleans your mouth and helps to prevent cavities by washing away leftover food and diluting acids. By choosing water, you avoid the sugar often found in soda, juice, and sports drinks. Additionally, water is instrumental in keeping your cells, tissues, and organs running smoothly.
Reduce and Manage Stress
Manage stress by staying active, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep. Stress and anxiety can take a toll on your mental health and make you more susceptible to oral health problems such as teeth grinding, canker sores, dry mouth, and toothaches. You might also try meditation, journaling, calling a friend, taking a walk, listening to music, and more. Find different stress-reducing activities that work for you!
Avoid Tobacco and Limit Alcoholic Beverages
Smoking and using other tobacco products increase your risk of lung cancer, gum disease, and oral cancer. Setting a goal to quit can improve your oral and overall health. Alcohol can also increase your risk of oral cancer and liver and kidney disease. Limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages can help prevent these health problems.
Getting the most out of your dental coverage can play a significant role in achieving your goals for better health. Preventive care is a top factor in dental benefits plans.
Delta Dental of Illinois wishes you great oral and overall health in 2023!
For more tips on protecting your oral health, visit deltadentalil.com/oral-health.
2 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
3 American Dental Association