Do your New Year’s resolutions include changes in your dental health habits? If you’re not sure what to put on your resolution list or how to change your oral care habits, take a look at what you need to know about a new year, a new you, and a new healthy mouth.
Your Brushing Routine
How can you change your brushing routine for the new year? If this oral health step tops your resolution list, make a positive impact on your mouth and:
- Buy a new toothbrush. The old brush you’ve used for the last year needs to go. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a brush replacement every three to four months. If the bristles fray or mat sooner, replace your brush more often.
- Set a timer. Do you brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day? Set a timer as part of your New Year’s resolution.
- Change your methods. The ADA suggests using a 45-degree angle approach to brushing. If your current technique is subpar, change your methods in the new year. Along with a new angle, make sure to get the backs, fronts, tops, and all sides of your teeth.
Your brush and how you use it aren’t the only ways to upgrade your dental health in the new year. Read on for other potential resolutions that should make your list.
Your Flossing Routine
How well do you floss? While brushing is an important step towards oral health, flossing is also a dental necessity. To change your flossing routine for the better:
- Make a point to floss. If you skip this part of your overall oral healthcare routine, make a fresh start in the new year. Floss at least twice a day and after meals or snacks.
- Choose a new floss. Does your choice of floss make it difficult to tackle this oral health step? Try a new floss for the new year. This may mean that you switch from a waxed floss to a non-waxed version or select a different flavor.
- Try another interdental cleaner. Floss isn’t the only way to clean between your teeth. If you struggle to floss, try a powered air or water cleaner or a pre-threaded flosser.
To truly make a new year-new you impact, stock up on purse-sized or trial-sized packets of floss. Keep these with you at work, on a night out, or anywhere else you go. This makes it easier to stick to your resolution — and harder for food and debris to stick to your teeth.
Your Eating and Drinking Routine
How can you change your dental health with what you eat and drink? Now that you’ve made a resolution to upgrade your flossing routine, it’s time to move on to other preventative measures. Along with how you treat your teeth, what you eat (and drink) matters.
New Year’s eating resolutions don’t only revolve around diets and weight loss. For dental health:
- Limit coffee, tea, and soda intake. These drinks can stain your teeth and contain enamel-eroding options. Limit these picks or swap them for fluoridated tap water.
- Eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium builds bone and teeth strength. Integrate dairy products (such as cheese and yogurt) into your daily meal plan. Along with dairy, salmon, dark leafy greens, almonds, and tofu are also high-calcium picks.
- Increase vitamin C. This vitamin contributes to gum health. Add oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, spinach, and peppers into your diet to increase your vitamin C intake.
- Decrease sugary foods. Candy, cookies, and other sugar-filled foods feed the bacteria in your mouth. This can lead to dental decay.
Along with these easy-to-follow steps, resolve to skip hard candies, sharp foods (such as ice), and anything else that can crack, break, or damage your teeth.
Do you need one more resolution? Add regular dentist visits to your list. Contact Apollo Dental Center for more information.