The new year is here, and many of us have already made resolutions for better habits. Eat healthier. Work out more. Get to bed earlier. Stick to our budget.
Have you considered making resolutions for better oral health, too? It’s not too late to do so. Resolving to take care of your oral health in 2018 has many benefits.
Here are the top dental resolutions you should consider putting into place.
Replace your toothbrush more frequently
Are your toothbrush bristles frayed? Have you recently had a cold, the flu, strep throat, stomach illness, or another contagious virus? If so, it’s time to change your toothbrush. You should resolve to replace it every three to four months, in general, and (something most people don’t know) more often if you get sick.
When choosing a new brush, make sure to pick a brush that’s the right size for your mouth and your teeth. Smaller teeth and smaller mouths need a smaller brush head. The opposite is true for larger teeth and mouths. Additionally, you want to pick a soft bristled brush to protect your gums. If you want to upgrade from a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes can be highly effective at removing plaque. The new year is a great time for a new toothbrush.
Improve your brushing technique
Being more intentional about brushing can help stop plaque buildup. Brush at a 45-degree angle from your gumline, using up and down strokes on all surfaces of your teeth. Make sure to brush the outer sides, the chewing surfaces, and the inner sides of all your teeth. Gently brush your gumline as well – and don’t forget your tongue.
You need to brush for two minutes, twice per day. Set a timer to stay on track. It may seem silly, but you’ll remove more plaque and keep your mouth healthier.
Make flossing a daily habit
There’s no better way to remove plaque buildup than to floss once per day. Flossing can prevent gingivitis and tooth decay by removing plaque from underneath the gumline, something even regular brushing can’t accomplish. Make this your New Year’s resolution, and your mouth will be much better off.
Eat better for a healthy mouth
Many of us resolve to eat healthier because we want to lose weight, but did you know that a healthier diet also helps your oral health?
Fewer snacks between meals will prevent bacteria buildup, which leads to plaque formation. Cutting back on carbohydrates and acids will lessen your chances of tooth decay.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost your immune system, which will fight off infections in your mouth. Crunchy veggies and fruits, like raw carrots, celery, and apples, can help remove bacteria from your teeth.
Chew more gum
That’s right, we said more gum. As long as you select sugarless gum, chewing gum after meals can help remove buildup that leads to tooth decay. Make gum a habit when brushing your teeth isn’t feasible, like during your workday. This is an easy resolution to make and keep.
Drink more water
Water washes away leftover food from your teeth. It also promotes good saliva production, which is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Your water should contain fluoride, which will further protect your teeth. If you drink mostly sweetened tea, juices, or soft drinks during the day, replacing at least some of them with water will make a huge difference in your oral health.
Give up tobacco
You probably know that tobacco use isn’t good for your body. Did you know it’s also detrimental to oral health? Both smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to serious problems. Smokers have a 200 percent greater chance of tooth loss as compared to non-smokers. Tobacco users are also at a higher risk for gum diseases, cavities, and several mouth cancers.
Quitting tobacco can be tough, but you will do your whole body a favor. Get in touch with support groups and use an app to track your progress. You’ll never regret stopping for better health.
Cut back on alcohol
Excessive alcohol use is damaging to your mouth, because it causes disease in your gums. When your gums pull away from your teeth, your chances of losing teeth skyrocket. Drink alcohol in moderation in the new year, and experience many health benefits, including better oral health.
Would you like a brighter smile for the new year? You can purchase whitening toothpaste and other treatments over the counter. You can also ask your dentist for prescribed at-home treatments or in-office treatments.
Keep your appointments
You should resolve to see your dentist every six months for a checkup. Regular checkups stop oral problems before they begin. If it’s been longer than six months since your last appointment, call our offices today to set one up.