How is your dental health? Are your dental hygiene habits as good as they should be, or are you lacking in some areas?
It's normal to have imperfect oral hygiene habits. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't aspire to fix them. What better time is there to make a change than the new year?
We have a few suggestions for dental health New Year's Resolutions that will help you build good habits and make a commitment to good dental health for years to come. 2021 is the year that you change your life forever.
Keep reading for the best resolutions that you can make. Your teeth will thank you.
1. Commit to Brushing Twice per Day (The Right Way)
Let's face it: you know that you're supposed to brush your teeth twice per day at a minimum. Do you actually do that?
How many times have you neglected a good brushing because you were late to work, or because you arrived home after a night out and you couldn't be bothered?
We've all been there and there's nothing shameful about it, but it's time to develop the habit of brushing twice per day if you want to keep your teeth in good condition. You'll have a cleaner and whiter smile if you do this.
While brushing three times per day is optimal (once per meal) twice is the standard. Remember, you can't just run your brush over your teeth and call it a day. You should spend 2 minutes getting between the crevices and brushing the front and back of each tooth.
Try to get a new toothbrush every three months if you're able. This ensures that you don't have a brush that gathers and hoards bacteria between each brush. Invest in a good toothpaste, preferably with fluoride.
2. Rinse After Meals
While you may not want to brush right after every meal (unless you have braces or aligners in), it's a great practice to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash (or water, in a pinch) after you're done eating.
It's not a replacement for brushing, so you still want to brush later when you're able. It's a great way to clean out your mouth and leave you feeling fresh. You'll find that you prefer it once you get in the habit.
After all, you won't have that coffee or garlic breath when you're out and about with other people. What's not to love?
3. Floss Nightly, No Matter What
Less than half of the population of Canada flosses every day. Are you part of this statistic?
While occasional flossing is better than no flossing, you should aim to floss every day if you want clean and healthy gums. But why does it matter?
When you floss, you get debris out from between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. You also extract sticky plaque before it hardens into tartar.
Once your plaque becomes tartar, you're unable to remove it on your own. You need a professional scaling to take care of it. When that tartar builds up, it can cause infections in the gums or even gum disease. Early stages of gum disease can be reversed, but after a point, your dentist can only control it.
4. Visit Your Dentist Twice This Year
Did you know that you should have two dental visits per year?
This visit should include a cleaning session and a checkup to make sure that everything is going well with your oral health. The cleaning takes care of any tartar build-up (most people have at least some) and getting between the spaces that you might not be able to reach.
The dental checkup is for those problems that you may not even recognize.
Did you know that tooth pain isn't the first indication that something is wrong? It means that something has gone past the point of "wrong" and into the stage of "serious."
Too many people only visit the dentist when they feel pain. This results in the need for fillings, root canals, and even extractions.
Go to the dentist for preventative care to get ahead of the problem.
5. Eat Less Sugar
We all know from childhood that sugar is bad for our teeth. This doesn't stop us from eating it, though.
With good oral health habits, it's okay to eat sugar in moderation. Sugar, however, causes bacteria to grow and thrive inside the mouth. It starts quickly after ingestion. This is another great reason to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after you eat anything.
Not only will eating less sugar help with your oral health, but it will also help with your overall health as well. Do your body a favor and keep your sugary snacks to a minimum.
6. Quit Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Do you smoke or chew tobacco? This year, make it a resolution to stop.
This isn't meant to be preachy; everyone knows that tobacco is bad for your health. What does it have to do with your dental hygiene?
When you smoke, you discolor your teeth, but this isn't the biggest problem. Smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to gum disease and even oral cancer. It also results in bad breath.
We know that smoking can be hard to quit, but it's one of the best things that you'll do for your health this year.
7. Drink More Water
Do you drink enough water?
Drinking adequate amounts of water is important for all of your internal systems. Water keeps the body working the way that it's supposed to, but what does it do for your teeth?
When you drink water with a meal, you're avoiding sugary drinks by default. This is a great first step to cutting down on sugar.
That water helps to flush out debris and bacteria before you're able to rinse with mouthwash or brush your teeth. It's the first step in the fight against plaque and tooth decay.
8. Stop Grinding
Many people grind their teeth in their sleep. It's often a result of stress. How do you stop?
There are several ways to cut down on that harmful grinding. The first is to try to lower stress levels in your life. This is easier said than done, but it is possible.
Work on breathing techniques, try to engage in self-care practices, and consider seeking out a counselor. If all else fails, invest in a good custom mouthguard to protect your teeth while you're sleeping.
9. Get a Straighter Smile
Did you have braces in the past? Did you forget to wear your retainer? Were braces something that your parents couldn't afford when you were a child?
Now is the time to invest in straighter teeth.
Straight teeth aren't only an issue of aesthetics. They can help with your jaw health, your bite, and the problems that come with excessive spacing or crowding.
When your teeth are too far apart, there's plenty of access to the gums for bacteria. While these teeth are easier to clean, there's a lot of exposure.
When your teeth are too close together, flossing feels impossible. Getting in those tight spaces is too difficult for standard floss, so you won't get the most benefit and tartar builds up in no time.
Get those teeth spaced out as well as you can.
Let's talk about bite issues. When your bite isn't well-aligned, you risk major issues for your dental health. You could crack teeth that crash together or have future problems with chewing and eating.
A straight smile will give you confidence and better oral health in one package.
10. Aim to Whiten and Brighten
Are your teeth movie star white?
Probably not, but that's okay. Movie stars tend to have veneers and expensive whitening treatments to keep their perfect smiles. That doesn't mean that you can't get whiter teeth to gain more confidence.
The first step to whiter teeth is good dental hygiene. When you brush every night, there are fewer chances for stains to form.
When you stop smoking, your teeth aren't stained by tobacco. There are also several staining foods that you should avoid.
Once these things are done, it's time to get a professional whitening treatment to perfect those pearly whites. You'll build serious confidence with your new and shiny smile.
Improve Your Dental Health In 2021
These ten dental health New Year's resolutions are the keys to getting a straight, beautiful, and healthy smile in 2021. Can you stick to them?
Flossing every day, brushing twice per day, and getting rid of harmful practices such as smoking and eating too much sugar is tough, but now is the best time to start building up these healthy habits. You can do it!
Are you looking for the perfect dentist to help you maintain your resolutions? Come visit us at Taunton Village Dental. We're open 7 days per week so we have hours to fit your needs. Contact us to set up your appointment today.