The new year is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. Now is the perfect time to establish some dental habits to keep your teeth healthy. Dental health resolutions are always a good idea, and their benefits provide a little extra motivation. Improving oral health should always be a priority. Here are some habits to start in the new year to ensure you have healthy teeth and gums.
Daily flossing is important in preventing gum disease. It’s a pretty standard oral health step that we’re told to do from a young age. But, like many things, it often gets skipped because of our constant need to rush through life. To ensure proper plaque removal and that you have no lingering food or debris hanging out between your teeth, floss at least once a day.
Replace Your Toothbrush
Just as it is important to brush your teeth, it’s just as important to use a toothbrush that is clean and in good condition. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends changing your toothbrush every three to four months. This is an excellent thing to get into the habit of doing. Toothbrushes can become worn and frayed, and when this happens, it prevents you from effectively cleaning your teeth.
We know it’s essential to stay hydrated for our overall health, but drinking plenty of water also helps to boost our oral health. When our mouth gets dry, bacteria builds up on and between our teeth. This leads to bad breath and cavities. Our mouths need enough saliva and fluids to wash away bacteria and keep our mouths clean and fresh. If you suffer from dry mouth, in addition to drinking water, try drinking milk and chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva production.
Quit Tobacco Products
There’s no way of putting it nicely; tobacco is terrible for oral health. It not only stains your teeth, but it leaves you susceptible to many dental problems and complications. Smoking is a significant cause of severe gum disease in the United States. It leads to bacteria getting deep under your gums, which can then affect your bone structure. This can then result in tooth loss.
Make Healthier Dietary Choices
What you eat greatly impacts your smile and dental health. According to the ADA, foods with high nutritional values will help to keep your teeth strong and healthy by removing bacteria and acid from your mouth. Aim for a well-balanced diet with an emphasis on calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, and low-fat or fat-free milk to help you have strong teeth and bones. Also, try eating lots of fruits and vegetables. These foods help to scrape away bacteria. Salmon is also a great dietary addition to improve oral health. The omega-3s in salmon fight inflammation and infections in your mouth. And if at all possible, try to limit your sugar intake.
Brush More Than Once a Day
This sounds obvious, but you may be surprised to find out that many only rely on one daily brushing for oral care. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and the evening. Dentists also recommend brushing after meals, as it helps to eliminate bacteria immediately. You should aim to brush for two minutes twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your enamel.
Schedule Routine Dental Visits
It’s recommended that you visit your dentist every six months. This helps to prevent dental issues before they happen. Regular visits give your dentist a chance to check for possible dental problems as well as oral cancer. Your dentist can spot early signs that usually go unnoticed unless seen by an oral care professional. When caught early, most conditions are easily treatable and less expensive than when they become major problems.
Follow these dental health resolutions and schedule your routine visit today to improve your oral care!