Okay, 2015 is ramping up. It’s only natural to think about goals for the new year. So why not include some oral health resolutions to help you achieve a smile you will be proud of?

Most of the following tips for a healthy mouth are common sense, but it never hurts to focus on them occasionally to ensure they become part of your daily regimen:

Consume a healthy diet— Your entire immune system can be affected by poor nutrition which makes you susceptible to various oral disorders, including periodontal or gum disease. The antioxidants and other nutrients in nuts, fruits, legumes or vegetables will help your body to fight against inflammation or bacteria which will help to protect your teeth and gums. Raw vegetables or crisp fruits such as carrots, celery, or apples help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

Kick the soda habit—Researchers at the University of Michigan have confirmed that “adults who drink three or more sodas a day have up to 62% more decayed, missing, and filled teeth than those who drink less.” Oral bacteria feast on the simple sugars left behind on the teeth after sipping soda pop. Reducing or eliminating soda from your diet will immediately decrease the odds of developing excess dental plaque or dental tartar buildup.

Stop using tobacco products—Smokers are about twice as likely to lose teeth as people who do not smoke. Tobacco use also increases your risk for gum recession, lung, throat or oral cancer, cavities, tooth discoloration, or gum disease.

Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum—The Academy of General Dentistry reports that people who consume excessive alcohol, smoke, or eat poorly have an increase chance of gum recession or periodontal pocketing. One reason: Smokers who regularly consume alcohol are less likely to regularly brush their teeth because they as not as health conscious as nonsmokers.

Brush and floss at least twice daily—Brushing and flossing help remove plaque, the harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Flossing also removes plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begins.

Keep your regular dental hygiene appointments—Professional preventive dental cleanings remove harmful dental plaque, and can catch conditions such as gingivitis and cavities before they require more extensive and expensive treatment.

Schedule restorative dental care procedures—Don’t put off crowns, implants or fillings if you need them. Completing these types of procedures helps preserve tooth structure and maintain proper tooth alignment.

Be sure to make Dr. Feucht and our staff at Plymouth Dentistry part of your resolution for a healthier mouth in the new year. Give our office a call to schedule your twice yearly dental hygiene appointments. We look forward to servicing Canton, Livonia, Northville or Plymouth residents this year!