Great Dental Resolutions for the New Year

2019 is almost upon us! Many people use the beginning of a new year to set goals or resolutions for the next 12 months. Often times these goals center around health and personal development. Here’s some goals for incorporating dental health into your new year’s resolutions!

1) Floss

I’m sure just about everyone reading this post has been told by the dentist that they need to floss better. And this could be your year to do it! Flossing seems like a little thing and it can be difficult and even painful, which is why so many people avoid it. But flossing is crucially important to your dental health. Floss reaches the spaces between teeth where your toothbrush can’t and the friction it provides removes buildup that even mouthwash won’t take care of. Try leaving the floss on your bathroom counter as reminder!

2) Brush your teeth for the recommended time

Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth for 2–3 minutes at least twice a day. Unfortunately most of us do a quick brush around all of the teeth, maybe a brush on the gums and then move on with our day. Using something like a timer, or humming a song while you brush can be a great way make sure you are brushing for the full recommended time. And don’t forget to get down by your gum line where much of the tartar can build up!

3) Visit the dentist

You knew we had to throw this on in here right? Visiting the dentist can be a painful, stressful experience, particularly if you haven’t been diligent about taking care of your teeth. However, visiting the dentist regularly, like every six months or so, is important to the long term health of your mouth. Using specialized tools, they’ll be able to clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can on your own and they can scrape away plaque that may have built up over time. Additionally, dentists offer treatments like fluoride and sealants that can help ensure your teeth stay healthy and cavity-free between visits.

4) Cut back on acidic foods and drinks

A lot of us eat and drink acidic foods on a very regular basis. Daily go-to’s like coffee, tea and soda, have a high acid content which can hurt tooth enamel and even leave teeth stained. For both the health of your teeth and your body in general, consider cutting back on or limiting the number of these drinks you consume each day. And, if your teeth have been stained by years of coffee drinking, your dentist may be able to recommend a whitening treatment to get them back to their shiny best.

5) Quit Smoking

Last but not least, smoking. I think most of us know that smoking isn’t a healthy habit. It can lead to cancer a number of places in your body, particularly your lungs, mouth and throat. But, it has a negative impact on your teeth as well. Similar to acidic foods, it can cut down the enamel on your teeth and the tar in cigarette smoke can leave your teeth yellow and your breath with a permanent smell. And if you’re a pipe smoker, holding the stem of the pipe in your teeth can lead to tooth damage as well! Quitting smoking is a great way to make your teeth, and your lungs, much happier.

New year’s resolutions are always easy to make and hard to keep. This year, consider adding in just a single one of these resolutions focused on the health of your teeth. You won’t regret it!