Discover how to have your best and brightest year for teeth ever
You’re at the party. The space is beautifully lit, people are dancing, the drinks are flowing, and everyone’s dressed to impress. After all, it is New Year’s Eve. Good cheer hangs in the air like perfume. You can practically taste the festivities and hopeful joy for the upcoming year.
Now the countdown’s begun. 10 – 9 – 8 … Oh, wait! What’s your resolution? Must have slipped your mind with all the pleasant distractions. Use those new gym shoes? Write that novel you’ve been putting aside?
How about prioritizing your dental health?
Somehow this doesn’t spring to mind for most. Yet teeth, eyes, and hair are the three most important aspects of health that make a first impression upon others. And unlike the other resolutions, dental attention is done in home, every day. It’s the easiest – both sometimes gets overlooked thus.
Fortunately, good dental health can help you tie off many of those other resolutions you might have been trying for. Read on to see how dental care can have radiating impacts on your overall health and wellbeing for 2017.
Here’s the 13 easy dental resolutions you can follow towards a whiter, brighter, healthier smile for this year – and years to come!
I can’t emphasize this enough.
#1 Brush and Floss Regularly
Your life is busy and it’s easy to let dental habits fall by the wayside, especially during the holidays. This year, pledge yourself to brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Using fluoride toothpaste, brush for at least two minutes and reach all surfaces to ensure a thorough sweep. Regular brushing means a healthy, radiant smile is soon to follow.
And commit to flossing at least once every day. After all, flossing is the best way to ensure a healthy smile that lasts for years.
These days, flossing has never been easier with tools like flossing picks and Waterpiks as alternatives. If you’re getting back into it, flossing might be painful at first and you might experience some minor gum bleeding. This is totally normal so don’t worry. However, should this persist, consult your dentist – as you probably have gingivitis.
#2 Optimize Your Dental Hygiene Technique
Maybe you brush and floss daily, but still haven’t achieved that winning smile you want. What gives? You’re likely missing some key areas of the mouth and plaque is building up. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about the proper technique for brushing and flossing. This information doesn’t come standard and can be easily overlooked – even if you’re 50 years old!
Read here to brush up on your ideal dental care:
#3 Get a New Toothbrush
For many of us, plaque relentlessly plagues our teeth. The best way to bust plaque is by replacing your toothbrush and using it! Worn out bristles simply won’t cut it. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months, or when you see those bristles start to fray. You can set reminders to buy new brushes or punctuate your regularly scheduled trips to the dentist with a brand-new brush.
#4 Start Using Mouthwash
Though it can’t replace brushing and flossing, mouthwash will go a long way to keeping teeth looking their best. Antimicrobial mouthwash with fluoride is key, as it both reduces existing bacteria and inhibits new bacterial growth. Plus, you get great breath afterward!
#5 Stop Smoking
Now’s the time to kick the tobacco habit! Nothing tarnishes teeth worse than cigarettes, and smoking contributes to gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, mouth pain, and oral cancer. When you put down the nicotine, your whole oral healthy gets a boost. Plus, your breath and holistic body health will thank you for fulfilling this resolution.
That’s not all.
#6 Limit Dietary Sugars
Like tobacco, cutting back on sugar provides a host of health benefits. In a dental sense, excess sugars predict tooth decay and cavities. If you reduce your consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates, you reduce your risk of painful, unsightly, and costly oral issues. Trimming sugar will also keep you looking light and lean into the new year.
Swap out sugars with healthier options and stay away from “fat-free” options in the grocery store, as this is usually synonymous with added sugars. Turn to fruits or a dash of honey to replace sticky sweets and try soda water instead of sodas.
#7 Enjoy Sugarless Gum
Switching to sugarless gum has two benefits: you reducing sugar intake and you prevent tooth decay. Win-win! The American Dental Association reports that chewing sugarless gum after a meal can neutralize and wash away harmful acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Inhale benefits, exhale fresh breath.
#8 Cut Back on Coffee
Excess coffee consumption predicts tooth discoloration. Why? The dark color isn’t the first cause to blame. The high level of acidity in coffee strips the tooth enamel and only then does the brown tint seeps into those pearly whites. Too much coffee can also impair sleep, increase anxiety, and increase bodily inflammation. Try to keep it under 500mg per day – or about 4 cups.
#9 Trim Down Alcohol Consumption
Another resolution packed with multiple benefits, reducing alcohol intake reduce your risk of gum recession, as studied by the Academy of General Dentistry. The report detailed that those who routinely consume alcohol are less likely to brush their teeth and thus suffer more dental issues overall.
#10 Add a Multivitamin
Your mouth needs lots of micronutrients to be its best. Taking a multivitamin provides the copper, calcium iron, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins your teeth and gums crave. Adding vegetables to your diet will also help provide teeth-healthy vitamins and minerals while adding fiber that helps keep teeth white – and cut cravings by helping you stay full for longer. But use a multivitamin just to make sure you’re looking and feeling tip-top!
#11 Drink More Water
Since we’re 90% water, drinking lots of water is good for your overall health and your dental health.
The best part.
With plenty of water, your saliva production will be top-notch and bacteria that could cause post-meal tooth decay and gum disease will be swept away. Aim to intake eight 8oz. glasses of water per day, or two two-liter water bottles.
#12 Quit Tooth-Harming Habits
If you practice any of the following habits, your teeth will thank you:
- Biting your nails
- Chewing ice
- Opening bottles with your teeth
- Playing sports with a mouthguard
The abrasion from these activities wears enamel thin and can cause pain and discoloration.
#13 Get Dental Veneers
If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your teeth in one easy step, consider dental veneers procedure. These wafer-thin shells of tooth-colored materials are custom-made to cover the surface of teeth. Used routinely to cover up worn, chipped, misaligned, gapped, or discolored teeth, dental veneers can make the new year truly bright and new when it comes to oral health and wellbeing.
#14 Schedule a Dentist Appointment
Been putting off that root canal or cavity fix? Routine visits to the dentist will help prevent oral disease, reveal existing or impending dental health issues, and give you the brightest smile possible. It’s recommended that you schedule at least two visits per year, as preventative maintenance for more costly, painful treatments and also to remove unsightly plaque buildups. Call Dr. Mehler today to schedule an appointment and fulfill your resolution to have healthy teeth and better oral health in 2017.
Capping the Conversation
The new year may feel like a random time to take charge of your dental health, but why not take advantage of the momentum and make some simple improvements? Fortunately, dental health and total health are closely associated with the choices we make. Cutting back on coffee, sugars, nicotine, and alcohol are guaranteed to boost oral hygiene but also feelings of overall wellness, performance, and physical longevity. But science tells us it’s easier to add new routines than cut old habits, so try to also brush and floss more regularly, use mouthwash, consume more vitamins and minerals, and get a new toothbrush.
By striking a balance between additions and subtractions, you’ll hardly feel like you’ve made an effort – but your teeth and gums will know the difference. And don’t forget to stay regular with your dentists, as a bi-annual deep clean is the hallmark of healthy teeth. Happy New Year!