Best New Year’s Resolutions For Your Dental Health
When we think about making a resolution for the new year, we tend to revolve around our health, fitness, and wealth. Resolutions can be hard to keep, but when you find a good reason, make an effort, and create good habits, your resolutions can be easier to pursue and stay put. One New Year resolution that can help your overall health (and your wallet) is taking care of your oral hygiene. By sticking to your dental health goals all year long, you can avoid dental issues in the first place and keep your mouth and wallet happy.
New Year’s Dental Health Resolutions For 2024
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best recommended dental health resolutions to help you develop new habits in the new year. By upping your oral care routine, avoiding destructive behaviors, and making more balanced and healthy dietary choices, you can greatly impact your dental health for life.
Regular Brushing Twice a Day
One of the most impactful habits you can do to maintain optimal oral health is brushing your teeth twice a day. To establish brushing your teeth regularly, you can try the following to create a dental routine:
- First thing every morning, brush your teeth to remove any plaque that might have built up while you were asleep
- Brush right before you head to bed to get rid of the food particles and gunk from the day
- After you eat or drink, aim to wait 30 minutes before brushing, but you can rinse your mouth with water to flush away any debris.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride
- When brushing, use gentle circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush
Brush for Two Full Minutes
You might think brushing alone is enough, but how long you brush makes a difference. Studies have shown that, on average, the general population tends to brush for closer to 45 seconds rather than two minutes. To ensure you are brushing long enough, you can set a timer or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer.
Floss Every Day
The dreaded question from the dentist: “Have you been flossing regularly?” We know we are supposed to floss every day, but so many people don’t. By ignoring flossing every day, bacteria can build up quickly between teeth. This buildup turns to plaque, leading to gum disease, tartar, and tooth decay. While there are some legitimate reasons why we make excuses not to (like being tired, finding flossing time-consuming, making our gums irritated, etc.,) you could significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay by making an effort to floss everyday.
Mouthwash is not a substitute for flossing or brushing, but it may be able to boost your oral health; it often has added fluoride and antiseptic benefits. Mouthwash helps reduce plaque buildup and prevents gum disease and gingivitis. Your toothbrush may not always be enough to catch food particles, and swishing with mouthwash can help remove this debris after brushing. Adding this step to your routine is a quick and easy way to help keep your teeth healthy.
Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
If you have been using a manual toothbrush, consider an upgrade to a newer electric toothbrush this year. Most electric toothbrushes have timers built into them, meaning an easier time brushing for a full two minutes, as recommended. A manual toothbrush is just as effective, but an electric one can help make brushing easier and more comfortable.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Do you remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Was it longer than three months ago? You should replace your toothbrush every three months when the bristles have frayed or are damaged, if you have been sick, or if you are not satisfied with the toothbrush you currently use.
Better Dietary Habits
What you put into your body can indeed affect all parts of it. Certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can help protect and rebuild your teeth and reduce the risk of certain health issues.
Some better dietary choices are:
- Try to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and foods that are nutrient-dense
- Limiting the amount of sugary or acidic foods and beverages you have
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking sugary drinks
- Talk to your doctor or dentist to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients
- Refrain from consuming excess sugar
- Drink plenty of water regularly
Say No to Smoking
There truly is no other way around it; using tobacco products or smoking is detrimental to your oral and overall health. Tobacco can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, create a dry mouth, as well as increase your risk for many dental issues. You can talk to your doctor for more support when quitting smoking or using tobacco products.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Prevention and early treatment are key to maintaining oral health and avoiding serious complications. It is recommended to see your dentist at least twice a year or every six months. By going to the dentist regularly, you can make sure no dental issues go unnoticed or start to worsen into something much more serious. Regular cleanings remove tartar and plaque and can catch early gingivitis or gum disease symptoms.
If you are looking for a compassionate and experienced dentist, visit us at the offices of Dr. Carrie Muzny, DDS. We help patients in Texas from The Woodlands, Benders Landing, Woodforest, Spring, North Houston, and the Conroe/Montgomery area. We want to help you create a dental routine for a healthier, happier smile. Contact us today!