Make Your Mouth Healthier This YearFor 2016, make one of your New Year resolutions dedicated to improving your dental health, so you can have a brighter and healthier smile! The New Year is an excellent time to create resolutions for improving the health of your mouth and body. It’s easier than you think, and to help you get on the right path, follow these simple tips that will not only help make you healthier, but will also make your mouth healthier this year.

1. Limit Your Use of Alcohol

Alcohol is known to have bad effects on your overall health, but it does affect your oral health as well. Studies conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry show that those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol have increased gum recession just like smokers, and are also less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis.

2. Lose the Tobacco Use

Tobacco doesn’t only discolor your teeth, but it can also harm your mouth as well. Smokers and chewers of tobacco are pretty equal in their negative effects; they both take quite the toll on the mouth. Tobacco increases your risk for gum recession, cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, as well as cancer. While tobacco use does increase these risks, you can significantly decrease these risks by quitting all forms of tobacco use.

3. Eat Well

If you eat poorly, your immune system suffers for it, and this can make you much more susceptible to diseases and disorders. One way to avoid this is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating well is vital for having good dental health, and will help prevent any potential problems down the road. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can aid your body in the fight against inflammation and bacteria, and will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

4. Remember to Brush and Floss

Practicing good dental hygiene is your best course of defensive against tooth decay and disease. Throughout the day plaque, a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth daily, accumulates on your teeth. If good hygienic practices are not followed, plaque can cause quite a bit of problems for your teeth and health. If proper flossing and brushing are not done, you can develop tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, flossing is the only way to effectively remove the plaque from between your teeth and from below the gum line. Brushing and flossing daily is your best form of defense.

5. Go for Annual Checkups

Be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for an annual checkup and cleaning. By having these regular visits with your dentist, they can better monitor the health of your mouth and can quickly address any areas of concern. Early prevention can help you catch problems early, before they cause you any real discomfort and pain. This will also help your wallet, by catching problems early on you won’t have to shell out more for more comprehensive treatment. Remember, prevention is the best medicine, so be sure to visit with your dentist!