It’s only been a couple of days, but it already feels like 2022 is in full swing. Hopefully there are great things to come for us in the new year but as with most things, you get what you earn. If what you want are nicer teeth then keep reading as we’ve listed our top ten oral health resolutions that will improve your smile this year.
1 – Make sure you floss daily
It’s so often overlooked as part of a daily oral hygiene routine – it’s mindboggling. Sure, you floss, but how regularly? Flossing is most effective if you do it everyday, preferably at night before you go to bed. We know you may have a lengthy nighttime routine as it is but tacking on a few extra minutes to floss your teeth will reduce your risk of gum disease exponentially and freshen your breath. It’s well worth the time it takes, trust us!
2 – Don’t skimp on the brushing
You’re busy, with lots of things to do – we get it – but only giving your teeth a “quick brushing” isn’t going to cut it. It’s typically recommended to brush your teeth for at least two minutes – we’re talking about all your teeth (not each individual one). Longer is better but a minimum of two minutes is required to get everything squeaky clean. Try breaking your mouth up into quadrants and spending 30 seconds on each section, recite your favourite song to keep track of how long you’ve been brushing or even set up a timer on your phone. Using an electric toothbrush can help too, as most brands include a timer that lets you know through sound or vibration when it’s time to change quadrants.
3 – Go electric
As mentioned earlier, an electric toothbrush not only helps you brush for the correct amount of time, but it will also help you brush more effectively. If you’re using a manual toothbrush, we think you really need to consider upgrading. The level of clean an electric can give you is far better than a regular toothbrush – and it’s less effort too.
4 – Stay away from acidic foods
One of the most damaging things we do to our teeth on a daily basis is consuming acidic foods and drinks. This usually means citrus fruits (although their benefits might outweigh the tooth enamel damage) and soft drinks. Regardless of what food product it is, if it’s acidic it will breakdown your enamel over time. Consider limiting your intake and make sure to rinse your mouth out after consumption. Also important is to not brush your teeth for at least 15 minutes after consuming something you think might have been acidic.
5 – Cut out sugar
Remember how your parents used to tell you that candy would give you cavities? Well, they weren’t wrong! Sugar is bad for your teeth and your gums too. It leads to bacteria growth and oral health issues if other oral hygiene practices aren’t followed closely. Consume less sugar and rinse your mouth after you do to avoid the negative effects it can have on your teeth and gums.
6 – Stop smoking
Not only is smoking awful for your overall health, it also wreaks havoc on your mouth. It’s one of the main causes of tooth loss and gum disease in North America, which is why it’s right at the top of the list of things you should stop doing so you can be healthier.
7 – Always stay hydrated
If your mouth is dry that means you aren’t producing enough saliva which could mean you haven’t been drinking enough and are dehydrated. Saliva works to wash away bacteria so if there isn’t enough present in your mouth your risk of gum disease and cavities goes up. Water is the best thing to drink but fruit beverages and drinks that aren’t too sugary are ok too. Remind yourself to have a glass every half hour or hour and you should be adequately hydrated to keep saliva production at peak performance.
8 – Pick up a tongue scraper
Almost 75% of North Americans have never once scraped or cleaned their tongues specifically. Tongue scraping is a great way to remove extra bacteria in your mouth and increase the healthiness of your smile. It’s easy to do, and there are many different tools you can purchase or adapt to do the job. Give it a try and incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine.
9 – Invest in your smile
If your smile isn’t as bright as it should be you could consider speaking with a cosmetic dentist to find out some options available to you. Things like teeth whitening or veneers are a great way to boost your smile to the next level and your dentist is the best person to advise you on what you should do.
10 – Visit your dentist on a regular basis
This is probably the most important tip we can give you for keeping your smile in good order. Ok we’re aware that it sounds like we just want you to visit our clinics, which we do, but that’s because we want what’s best for your oral health. Over time plaque builds up and even the best oral hygiene routine won’t be able to stop it. That’s why it’s necessary to come in for a professional dental cleaning at least twice per year – so if you haven’t been in a while – you should really make an appointment.
The turn of the new year is one of the best times to make positive changes in your life and start living better than you did last year. Some resolutions are small, and some take more work than others, but whatever category oral health care falls into for you – it’s worth the time and investment for sure.