New Year’s resolutions mean different things to everyone. Some people want to be more productive. Some vow to spend more time with family and friends. Some want to drop a few pounds. But when making their resolutions to be happier and healthier, most people forget about their teeth.
A few small, steady changes can go a long way towards improving your oral health. Here are 5 New Year’s resolutions to make for healthier teeth in 2017.
- Brush More
Most of us could benefit from brushing our teeth more often, even if we already brush twice a day. Brushing right after eating sweets cuts down on the time your teeth are exposed to the sugars, which gives decay-causing bacteria less chance to do harm.
How to stick to it: Buy a few extra toothbrushes to keep around so you can brush even when you’re out and about. Take one to work or school so you can brush after lunch, and keep one in the dash of your car so you have it no matter where you go.
- Floss Every Day
No exceptions. Flossing gets rid of plaque that hardens near the gumline, causing decay and gum disease. It’s easy to make excuses to skip a day here and there, but those extra five minutes can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle later on.
How to stick to it: Floss picks are great for days when you’re short on time or just don’t feel like using regular string floss. Keep a pack in your purse or car so you have them when you’re out, and get an extra pack for the living room so you can floss while you watch tv.
- Eat Healthier
Yes, eating healthier foods helps your overall health, but it’s also great for your teeth. Eating fewer sugary and acidic foods prevents cavities and damage to your enamel. Plus, there are a few foods (like cheese and crunchy vegetables) that can actually improve your oral health. Check out Dr. Eye’s Favorite Foods for Healthy Teeth for more suggestions.
How to stick to it: Buy healthy snacks like carrots, celery, cheese sticks, and yogurt and prep them in advance. You’re more likely to choose a healthy option over junk food if it’s easy to grab and go.
- Drink More Water
Drinking water is great for you in general, and your teeth are no exception. Water helps stimulate saliva production, which washes away leftover food particles and the bacteria they leave behind that cause decay and gum disease.
How to stick to it: Carry a reusable water bottle with you and make sure to refill it a few times a day. If you have trouble remembering to drink or keeping up with how much you’ve had, there are some great apps you can download for your smartphone to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day.
- Keep Up With Dental Appointments
No matter how diligent you are with your oral hygiene, it’s still important to see your dentist on a regular basis so we can make sure there are no problems that you can’t see. The sooner we’re able to catch it, the easier it will be to treat. Plus, there’s no feeling like a professional teeth cleaning!
How to stick to it: There’s no better time to start than right now! Visit our website or call us at (540) 434-5500 to schedule an appointment today.
Happy New Year from Exceptional Smiles Family Dentistry!