Creating a list of New Year’s resolutions is an amazing way to get a brand-new year started off right. Though there’s never a perfect time to give your daily habits a makeover, the “out with the old, in with the new” mindset everyone feels leading up to the new year can give you that push you’ve been needing to make some positive changes for yourself.
Most New Year’s resolutions tend to revolve around health and wellness in some way, such as losing a few pounds or prioritizing self-care practices. However, many people tend to forget one of the most important aspects of their health—their dental health!
7 Dental Health Resolutions to Improve Your Smile for the New Year
As you’re crafting your list of resolutions this year, don’t forget to include some healthy habits that will positively impact your dental health. Not sure where to start? Here are 7 simple dental health tips that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life to improve your smile.
- Stay on top of your brushing.
In order to maintain optimal dental health, you should try to brush your teeth after every meal. Whether or not you are able to, however, it’s very important to at least brush your teeth when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. This gets rid of overnight bacteria buildup (not to mention morning breath) to set you off right for the day, and cleans your teeth of leftover bits of food to prevent tooth decay as you sleep.
Additionally, make sure you don’t rush through the tooth brushing process. Brushing for at least two minutes straight will help to ensure that you don’t leave any bacteria behind. If you’re finding it difficult to gauge whether or not you’re brushing for long enough, try setting a timer! You should be spending the most amount of time on the hard-to-reach places where most of your chewing takes place, and the least amount of time on your easily accessible front teeth.
- Maintain a diet that supports your dental health resolutions.
Most people know that consuming sugary foods and drinks as well as staining agents like coffee and red wine can damage the health and appearance of teeth. However, did you know that a poor diet can negatively affect your immune system over time, slowly increasing your risk of oral problems like gum disease? Your diet affects your dental health in more ways than one, which is why it’s important to pay attention to the things you eat in order to support a healthy, beautiful smile.
Limiting sugary foods and drinks, caffeinated drinks, and wine is a great start when it comes to restructuring your diet for dental health. However, you could still be at risk for oral issues if you don’t have a nutrient-dense diet. Make sure to include a good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats into your diet and reduce your intake of foods without any nutritional value, such as desserts and alcohol. You can make your diet more nutrient-dense by including more lean meats, vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.
- Stop smoking for good.
Quitting smoking is a very common New Year’s resolution for many reasons. Smoking can cause a wide variety of serious health issues including cancer and heart disease, and many smokers choose to quit in order to reduce their risks and prolong their life. However, quitting smoking can also have the added benefit of supporting a healthy smile.
Tobacco is known to stain teeth over time, making it more and more difficult to maintain a bright white smile even if you follow all the correct steps. Plus, long-term tobacco use can put you at higher risk for gum disease.
- Don’t forget to floss
Regular tooth brushing is extremely important for your dental health, but it should only be one part of your daily routine. Your toothbrush can reach into every nook and cranny within your smile, which is where floss comes in.
Floss helps to remove excess food particles and bacteria that your toothbrush can’t get to. This can prevent tooth decay and cavities while also preventing gum inflammation, which can happen when tiny pieces of food remain between your teeth for too long.
- Keep up your routine cleanings
Life can get busy, and it can be easy to forget to schedule regular cleanings at the dentist. However, staying on top of your cleaning appointments can be the difference between dental issues and a clean bill of dental health.
Routine cleaning appointments do more than just whiten your teeth. They catch any developing dental issues before they spread, preventing cavities, gum disease, or worse, and protect you from having to go through a more painful dental procedure down the road. Talk to your dentist about how often you should go in for routine cleanings based on your specific dental history.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking more water may not have been one of your dental health resolutions; you may have simply included it within your resolve to eat healthier. However, drinking enough water has an almost endless list of benefits, improved dental health included.
Staying hydrated helps to keep your saliva levels normal, meaning your mouth will have an easier time flushing out food particles naturally during and after eating. This means that you’ll have less buildup on your teeth throughout the day and therefore reduce your risk of tooth decay.
- Consider cosmetic or restorative dentistry procedures.
If your goals include an aesthetic change to your smile, you won’t be able to achieve this with dental health tips alone. Ask your dentist whether a cosmetic procedure such as crowns or dental implants might be right for you this New Year.
Want to get your New Year started right in San Diego with positive dental health? Contact RB Dental Excellence today to make an appointment.