When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we tend to think of things that will help make us healthier. For many people, this means working out or losing weight, but few people realize that taking good care of your teeth is a huge part of improving your overall health.
So for 2020, why not make improving your oral health one of your main goals? All it takes is making a few simple adjustments to your dental routine and better oral health becomes a resolution you can easily achieve.
1. Become a better brusher.
You probably guessed that the number one item on this list would involve your tooth brushing habits, and you were right! For optimal oral health, you need to be brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Three brushing sessions a day is even better. But brushing won’t do much good if you’re not doing it right. For example, you should use a soft-bristled brush (unless otherwise instructed by your dentist) and position it at a 45-degree angle while brushing. Take our tooth brushing quiz to learn more about the best way to brush your teeth!
2. Replace your toothbrush regularly.
The rule of thumb is to swap your electric toothbrush head out, or get a new manual toothbrush, every three to four months. That said, if your brush bristles are frayed, fanned out, or are starting to fall out, you may need to change your brush sooner. You should also replace your brush or brush head after you have a cold or virus.
3. Up your flossing game.
Everyone should floss at least once a day, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. In fact, studies have shown that only about 30% of people actually floss every day. The truth is, there are some places that your toothbrush just can’t reach, and that’s why flossing is so important. It’s the best way to get in between your teeth to dislodge food particles and plaque. You can use regular dental floss, or let us recommend some of the best flossing tools on the market.
4. Limit alcohol consumption.
Like sugar, alcohol is fine in moderation, but going overboard can have serious effects on your teeth and gums. Too much alcohol can stain your teeth and cause severe dehydration, which is never a good thing.
5. Quit smoking.
Smoking increases your risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and other serious dental problems. Plus, quitting will not only help improve your oral health, but it will also have a major positive impact on your overall health. The dentists at Salling & Tate can give you more information on the effects of smoking on your teeth as well as provide some resources for quitting.
6. Have a cleaning done twice a year.
Even with regular brushing and flossing, your teeth still need to be professionally cleaned regularly. It’s a good idea to visit your dentist for a cleaning twice a year, or about every six months. Not only do we have the high-tech tools needed to make sure your teeth are perfectly clean, but we can also check for other potential issues like gingivitis, cavities, and cracks.
7. Stop putting off dental work.
Whether you’ve been avoiding scheduling an appointment to have veneers fitted, have a crown placed, or get another type of CEREC restoration created, make 2020 the year you change that. Restorative dentistry is important to keep your teeth strong and healthy in the long-term. Putting off this type of work can result in pain, bite issues, and structurally compromised teeth.
8. Pull the trigger on braces.
Having orthodontic work can be a little intimidating, regardless of whether you’re a child or an adult, but it can positively impact your dental health and your self-esteem. Nowadays, there are so many alternatives to traditional, metal braces. At Salling & Tate, we offer both Invisalign® and SureSmile® to make sure our patients can choose the teeth straightening option that’s right for them.
9. Eat better.
It’s no secret that sugary, acidic, or sticky foods are really bad for your teeth, but did you know that there are plenty of foods that are good for your teeth? Eating more healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, and less unhealthy foods, like candy and soda, is a sure way to improve your oral health.
10. Drink more water.
Obviously water is important for keeping your entire body hydrated, but it also plays a big role in helping to wash excess food, acid, sugar, and bacteria off your teeth. Try to drink at least eight 8 oz. in order to allow your body, and your mouth, to reap the rewards.
11. Brighten things up.
Everyone likes a nice, bright smile, so why not try whitening your teeth this year? You can use one of the many over-the-counter whitening products, or you can get even better results in less time by having your teeth professionally whitened.
We hope that this year brings you happier, healthier teeth! And don’t forget to schedule your first dental cleaning of 2020 by clicking here or by giving us a call at 910-256-9040.