The new year is on the horizon. We’re still enjoying the holiday season, but soon enough, people will be setting their resolutions for the new year.
Whatever your new year’s resolutions may be, we suggest that you resolve to take excellent care of your dental health going forward, whether you’ve already got great habits or you’re not there yet.
With that in mind, here are some dental habits to start (and stop) in 2021.
1. Commit to Your Dental Routine
First and foremost, make a commitment to excellent oral hygiene habits. Brush 2-3 times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, making extra sure you’re keeping the gumline clean. Floss once a day as well, and consider using mouthwash.
If you’re forgetful, set reminders or alarms in the morning and evening.
Also, keep a travel kit full of dental products. That means an extra travel toothbrush, floss container, and travel-sized toothpaste.
2. Eat Dental-Friendly Foods
Many people commit to better food choices for fitness reasons, but you should also do so for your oral health.
The worst foods are those with sugar. Sugar increases plaque buildup on teeth.
You should also limit excessively hard foods, such as hard candies (which also have sugar anyway) or chewing on ice. These can lead to chipped teeth.
You may also consider cutting down on acidic foods (such as citrus fruits) if they leave painful sores in your mouth.
Do your best to eat calcium-rich and fibrous foods. Calcium helps strengthen your teeth, while fibrous foods help keep your teeth clean and maintain saliva flow.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking has negative health effects in several areas, including your oral health. For one, smoking can yellow your teeth and lead to bad breath.
But effects go deeper than looks. Chemicals in tobacco products can increase plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to gum disease — and eventually tooth and jawbone loss.
Smoking can also restrict blood flow to the mouth. This can increase the chance of infections and also make recovering from injury or surgery more difficult.
Lastly, smoking increases your risk of mouth, throat, and lip cancer.
The faster you quit smoking, the better your oral health will be.
4. Wear Orthodontic Devices as Directed
We get it. Putting in a retainer at night can be annoying and may even cause pain. However, wearing these devices as your orthodontist directs is vital to keeping your teeth in the right places and ensuring your mouth functions as normal. Set reminders in the morning or at night to put in whatever device you may have.
5. See Your Dentist Regularly
Schedule an appointment for the beginning of the year — even if your teeth look and feel great — and commit to visiting your dentist every six months.
See, many dental issues don’t show themselves until it’s too late. Your dentist can catch these issues early on and address any spots you may have missed while diligently following your oral health habits.
So if you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, or you want to get your appointment in the calendar ahead of time, book an appointment with Absolute Smile today. Let’s start your year off right with a healthy, happy smile.