Ringing in the new year means a fresh start and fresh outlook for the upcoming 12 months. When the calendar turns, it’s also a chance for us to turn the page on old, unhealthy habits and resolve to be a better, healthier version of ourselves. At Today’s Dental, Omaha’s top dental team, we’re here to support your journey towards better health by offering 12 tips to improve your dental habits in the new year.
1. Steer Clear of Soda
Over half of all Americans consume at least one soda per day. Soda is a common vice for many people, and often used as a mid-day, caffeinated pick-me-up during a busy afternoon. The sugar and preservatives erode the enamel on your teeth, as well as create conditions ripe for cavities. Try replacing your afternoon soda habit with a brisk walk around the office to energize your brain, and keep a reusable water bottle nearby to drown sugar cravings before they begin.
2. Regular Dentist Check-ups
It’s easy to delay dentist visits, especially if you’re not experiencing any tooth pain. Make your mouth a priority and schedule a twice yearly appointment with your dentist for a regular cleaning and examination. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the expert team at Today’s Dental can pinpoint problems before they occur.
3. Floss, Floss, Floss
Flossing should be a part of your daily dental routine. This removes the buildup of plaque and can prevent gum disease by reaching areas between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
4. Brush Like a Boss
Here’s a quick refresher on how to properly brush your teeth:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums, and gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes
- Brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Brush for 2 minutes, 2 times per day
5. Avoid Sugar-Filled Foods
As with soda, plaque bacteria feed on the sugar in foods to produce acid-attacking tooth enamel. Sweets are fine in moderation, but your mouth’s long-term health is literally being eaten away if your diet is high in sugar. Swap out the sweets for high-fiber foods such as apples that naturally clean your teeth!
6. Brush Your Tongue
Don’t forget to add your tongue to your daily brushing routine! Plaque buildup also occurs on your tongue, so a gentle brushing helps remove this layer of plaque, and also improves your breath.
7. Drink More Water
Not only does water keep your body hydrated, your skin smooth, and your stomach full, but it also prevents you from reaching for a sugary soda or a sweet snack.
8. Protect Your Teeth
Do you or your children play sports? Guard your mouth the same way you do your head and limbs. Wear a mouth guard to ensure that your pearly whites are protected from accidental impacts.
9. Pick the Right Toothbrush
Resist the urge to grab the cheapest toothbrush at the store without looking closely at the brush itself. Look for a toothbrush with bristles that are small enough to reach in the crevices of your molars, where food particles can easily hide.
10. Change Your Toothbrush
Every 3-4 months is a good guideline for changing your toothbrush head. Of course, if your notice bristles that are frayed, replace your brush sooner. Also, after you’ve been ill, it’s a good idea to throw out your existing toothbrush and replace it with a fresh one.
11. Stop Late-Night Snacking
If you’re following the “2 x 2” brushing rule, then you’re likely brushing your teeth before bedtime. However, if you’re snacking after you’ve brushed your teeth for the night, that allows sugar and food particles to remain on your teeth. If you do feel the need for a quick bite, make sure to brush again before you hit the pillow.
12. Consider Using Mouthwash
Mouthwash is a quick and efficient way to freshen your breath, prevent cavities, kill germs that cause plaque and gingivitis, and prevent tartar buildup.
Visit a Dentist
Ready to keep your teeth fresh in the new year? Schedule an appointment with Omaha’s top dental team at Today’s Dental to see how we can help you ring in the new year with the healthiest version of yourself!