For many, a new year means making a fresh start. And setting new health goals is a smart way to begin. Here we cover 6 ways to boost your oral health in the new year.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
If you work at home, it's easy to put off brushing your teeth. Make a resolution to brush twice a day to help prevent oral health conditions such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes – thirty seconds per quadrant (upper, lower, right, and left). Brush each tooth for approximately four seconds.
2. Don't Forget to Floss
Some people think that flossing is tedious and unnecessary but people who floss regularly are less likely to develop periodontal disease. Cleaning between your teeth once a day with dental floss can help prevent cavities and gum disease.
Flossing and other types of interdental cleaning help to remove plaque. Plaque that isn't removed can erode the enamel (outer shell of your teeth), causing cavities. Untreated plaque can turn into a hard substance, called tartar. Tartar can lead to gum disease.
Interdental cleaning is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums. If you are not flossing, you are missing nearly 40% of the tooth surface. If you find it difficult to use dental floss, consider interdental brushes or an oral irrigator.
3. Get a Dental Check-up At Least Once a Year
Most dentists recommend a check-up and cleaning twice a year. Research suggests that gum disease may be associated with other full-body health problems including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, which makes oral care an even more important practice in the new year. Schedule a dental appointment now for your routine check-up.
4. Use a Fluoride Mouth Rinse
Using a fluoride mouth rinse daily has been proven to reduce dental decay (cavities) in children and adults alike. Remember to check the ingredients in your mouthwash. Many do not contain fluoride! A fluoride mouth rinse is especially beneficial for older adults as seniors can easily develop root caries due to receding gums.
5. Limit Use of Tobacco Products
Smoking cigarettes and using smokeless tobacco products can negatively affect your oral health. Tobacco products can cause a variety of dental problems including discoloration of tooth enamel, erosive tooth wear, and oral cancer.
6. Consider a Powered Toothbrush
If you find it difficult to use a manual toothbrush, consider buying a powered version. Powered toothbrushes remove plaque and reduce inflammation just as well as their manual counterparts.
Make a New Year’s resolution to improve your oral health habits. Healthy oral habits are essential to you and your family's overall health.