2020 has certainly been quite the year and many people are anxious for it to be in the past. With 2021 just over the horizon, it is also that time of year where people start working on what their new year’s resolutions should be. Some resolutions are more common than others and many people tend to focus theirs on things like family, career, and health. Despite the fact that oral health can affect each of these areas, not a lot of people make resolutions for their oral health. Luckily, there’s no time like the present to start and what better time to start than for the new year? Since making resolutions about your oral health may be unfamiliar to you, here are some ideas to get you started:
Brush and Floss Daily
Okay, so you had to know that this one would be on the list of oral health resolutions. Although brushing twice a day and flossing once a day sounds pretty straightforward, only about one third of Americans actually floss daily. If this is you, then congratulations! If not, then this is the perfect resolution for your teeth and gums. In addition to making sure you brush and floss daily, you will also want to be sure that you are brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time and that you are using a fluoridated toothpaste.
Try Cosmetic Dentistry
Do you have something about your smile that you wish you could change? If so, then this is the year to give cosmetic dentistry a try. Cosmetic dentistry can be used to change anything from the size, shape, and color of your teeth, to the spacing and alignment of your teeth. It can also be used for replacing missing teeth, restoring damaged teeth, and even to correct gum problems, like gum recession. There are so many different options to choose from, you could at least make it a resolution to schedule a consultation with your local cosmetic dentist to see if cosmetic dentistry is right for you.
Drink More Water
Dehydration can cause a range of problems for your overall health, but it can also affect your oral health. Not drinking enough water can cause dry mouth and dry mouth can cause enamel erosion, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Drinking more water helps to produce more saliva, which keeps your mouth cleaner. Additionally, drinking water after a meal rinses excess food particles and allows saliva to neutralize any acids produced by food or bacteria.
Decrease Sugar and Acid Intake
There are certain foods and beverages that either contain high amounts of sugar, acid, or even both. Unfortunately, these foods and beverages pose a threat to your oral health because sugar feeds bacteria, while acids weaken the enamel. More bacteria + weak enamel = increased risk of tooth decay. Conversely, decreasing your sugar and acid intake reduces the risk of tooth decay by preventing your teeth from being damaged from erosion and bacteria.
Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Instead of eating foods that are high in sugars, like sweets or starches, you can eat more fruits and vegetables. Crunchy fruits and vegetables provide numerous benefits to your oral and overall health. For starters, they have a high moisture content that increases saliva production in order to clean the mouth and neutralize acids. Biting into or chewing on crunchy fruits and vegetables also cleans the surface of your teeth by removing plaque and stains. In fact, broccoli and celery have even been nicknamed nature’s dental floss for their ability to clean between the teeth.
Switch Your Toothbrush
Many people don’t realize that you are supposed to switch out your toothbrush every three months or once the bristles begin to fade in color or fray. Not only are worn out toothbrushes less effective and removing plaque, but old toothbrushes are also loaded with bacteria. Therefore, replacing your toothbrush every three months makes sure your teeth are being properly cleaned and prevents too much bacteria from developing on your toothbrush. To make this one an easy resolution, go buy a few toothbrushes to have ready when it is time to switch.
Visit the Dentist at Least Twice
One of the most important resolutions you can make for your oral health is to visit your dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings. This allows your dentist to closely monitor your oral health and detect any potential problems early on. Dental cleanings are also an essential part of maintaining your oral health since they remove excess plaque, tartar, and bacteria in order to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. To make this an easy resolution, call our office today to schedule both of your 2021 dental appointments.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.