Main image courtesy of Bustle.
The new year is always an exciting time. There are parties to go to, friends to catch up with, and all kinds of delicious food and drinks to enjoy. The end of the year also brings about time to think about resolutions, and decide what you’d like to do better in the new year.
Resolutions typically center around improving your health, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or improving your eating habits. These are all great ideas that can ensure you’re starting out the new year on a good note.
But have you ever considered you may need to improve your dental health as well? Right before the new year is the perfect time to take stock of your dental habits, and see if you can do anything to improve them. Here are our top new year’s resolutions for better dental health in 2022!
Resolution #1: Brush and Floss Daily
Remember to make brushing and flossing a part of your daily routine
You may brush daily, but are you sure you’re doing it the way your dentist would approve of? Image courtesy of Mental Floss.
You hear your dentist say it all the time, you’ve got to ensure you’re brushing your teeth and flossing daily! This is one of the best new year’s dental resolutions you can make for your health. Although you might think you’re a pro at this since you’ve been doing it since you were a child, try taking a step back and consider if you’re actually doing what dentists recommend for optimal oral health.
- Are you brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush for the full two minutes? If not, a great way to ensure you are is to hum or sing the Jeopardy! song in your head for each of the four corners of your mouth.
- Are you using a fluoride toothpaste and holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle?
- Make sure you floss in between your teeth at least once a day.
- Use a mouthwash after you brush for at least one minute.
Are you honestly doing each of these steps everyday? If not, the new year is the perfect time to start! Brushing correctly and flossing are some of the easiest ways to ensure you’re taking care of your teeth and gums daily. Correct daily care ensures you’re removing plaque and food debris that could cause potential problems, including gingivitis and gum disease.
Resolution #2: Quit Tobacco Use
Quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your dental and your overall health
Just say no to tobacco products in the new year. Image courtesy of Very Well Mind.
This resolution is one of the most common at the end of the year. After all, who doesn’t want to make a fresh start next year without tobacco products? Not only is stopping tobacco product use good for your overall health, it’s also very good for your dental health. Tobacco can stain your teeth, and cause irritation with the gums. When you use tobacco, your body has a harder time fighting off bacteria or illnesses, and you are more prone to gum disease and tooth loss.
We know that nicotine is very addictive, which is why so many people fail to follow through on this new year's resolution. Even if you’ve tried this and failed in the past, this is a new year and a new chance. There are professionals there to help you, so consider contacting your dentist or your doctor for more information on quitting tobacco.
Resolution #3: Cut Back on Sugar
Your teeth will thank you for limiting sugar and starch
Another great resolution that will benefit your dental health as well as your overall health, is to limit your intake of sugar. This goes hand in hand with making a point to eat a healthier diet. This along with brushing and flossing regularly, this resolution can have a big impact on your dental health.
While we all get cravings for sweets once in a while, it’s important to not make it into a habit. Remember that sugar is not just present in chocolate, cookies, alcohol, and candy, it is also in a lot of the food we eat regularly. Make sure you check out the sugar level of the food you purchase, and be aware that sugars are put in a lot more than you might think.
Staples like cereal and pasta sauce can contain a very high amount of sugar, so always check before you buy. Once you know what to look for, you can choose products with less sugar, and know that you’re already doing right by your teeth, and your body.
Make sure to also:
- Limit snacking in between meals
- Try and rinse your mouth after eating
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
By limiting sugar, and the amount of times you eat sugar each day, you take away the opportunity for bacteria to multiply in your mouth and turn into plaque. By doing this you’ll cut down on your chances of getting cavities and gum disease.
Resolution #4: Keep Up with Dental Appointments
Your dentist wants to see you!
Make it a point to see your dentist for cleanings twice a year. Image courtesy of Dentistry Today.
While it’s important to take care of your dental health at home, you also want to make sure in the new year you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year. When you visit them for an appointment, they will professionally clean your teeth, and give your mouth a check up to ensure that everything looks good.
This is also an opportunity for them to make sure there are no issues with your teeth or gums, and if there are, to treat it before it gets worse. If you have any questions or concerns, you can also use your visit to bring them up to your dentist.
There’s no substitute for a professional cleaning and checkup, so if you’re looking for a dentist, consider contacting Dr. Elizabeth Wakim.
Resolution #5: Stay Hydrated
Keep your mouth (and body) hydrated
And finally, your last dental resolution for 2022 could be to drink more water. Not only will this keep you hydrated, but it will also prevent your mouth from drying out. When you’re hydrated, your saliva can work to keep your mouth clean and free of bacteria, which prevents plaque build-up and gum disease.
Drinking more water each day is very beneficial to your overall health as well, so limit the caffeine in the new year and add extra water instead.
These are our top five dental resolutions for 2022. Maintaining your oral health contributes to your overall well being, so make sure next year is your best dental year yet.