As we race toward the coming new year, many people will start making resolutions. Dentists at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) Baylor College of Dentistry recommend adding dental health improvement to your list of resolutions.

“It’s important to be aware of the link between oral health and general health,” says Dr. Charles W. Wakefield, professor and director of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program at TAMHSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. “Poor oral health can be linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, low birth weight babies and preterm births, not to mention the misfortune of losing perfectly healthy teeth. On the other hand, a healthy mouth can pay big health benefits.”

Resolve to develop good oral health habits every day. Dr. Wakefield says these tips should help start the year off right:

  • Make an appointment with your dentist for a thorough examination. Routine dental cleanings and examinations are the best way to make sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
  • Buy a new toothbrush. If you have difficulty getting your teeth cleaned with a manual brush, switch to an electric toothbrush. Change out your toothbrush every three months depending on the type you use.
  • Remember to floss daily. Flossing prevents gum disease.
  • Start brushing your teeth at least twice a day or, even better, after every meal.
  • Stop using tobacco products of any kind.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

“Oral health is important for appearance, speech and ability to chew food as well as for good breath,” Dr. Wakefield says. “Make this the year you take control of your oral health.”

— Marketing & Communications