With a new year, often times comes new resolutions. Whether it’s going to the gym more often or promising to stay in touch with family and friends, the new year is a time of thoughtful consideration of how the next 365 days of one’s life will go. One of the best resolutions one can make is to pledge to get in good dental health. It is amazing how much poor dental health can adversely affect the body. Flossing daily and brushing twice a day are simple, quick ways to ensure your teeth and gums stay in the best shape. Visiting the dentist twice a year is a good way to gauge how well your home care is going.

Because our mouths are full of bacteria, it is important to use daily brushing and flossing to remove these creatures. Over time, however, if we neglect oral care, the bacteria can reach levels that lead to oral infection, tooth decay and gum disease. Periodontisits is a severe form of gum disease. The inflammation associated with periodontisis may play a role in some diseases. There are some serious conditions including cardiovascualr disease and endocarditis where poor oral health can have adverse results on your heart. Additionally, lower birth weight and premature birth have been associated with periodontitis. For patients with diabetes and HIV/AIDS, oral problems can be more severe since the body’s resistance is lowered to infection and conditions like periodontistis can seriously affect overall health. Rheumatoid arthritis, eating disorders and head and neck cancers are other conditions that might be linked to oral health.

The good news is, with a simple resolution, you can alter your oral health in good ways. A trip to the dentist twice a year and generally good brushing and flossing habits are the way to go. Additionally, healthy eating habits and limiting carbohydrate snacking are easy ways to improve oral health. Of course, quitting smoking and tobacco use will help too. A simple investment in time spent now on good oral habits, will save a financial investment in your oral health later. Here’s to good health and good habits in 2019!