It’s that time of year again, when we start thinking about what we want for our lives, and what we need to do to get there. Yep, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions.
You’ve probably already set goals for your fitness, your finances, and your relationships, but what about your goals for a healthy mouth?
Ok, so maybe this is the first time you’ve ever heard about setting New Year’s resolutions for your mouth, but if you think about how much your oral health affects your overall health, it actually makes sense. This year, make it a point to give your mouth and teeth some extra attention. You might not see the results the same way you will if you keep up with your abdominal exercises all year, but the resultant absence of worry will feel just as good as inches lost from your waist.
Try these New Year’s resolutions for a healthy mouth:
Brush twice daily (but don’t over-brush)
You already know that you should brush your teeth twice a day. Whether or not you’re consistent with it may be another story. This year, make it a point to brush your teeth when you wake up in the morning, and before you go to bed. Every day. And do it gently. Vigorous brushing and hard bristles can damage your gums.
Floss daily (but throw away that water pick)
Again, you know you should floss, but do you do it every day? You really should. Brushing doesn’t remove the plaque from between your teeth, and when you leave it there, it can harden into tartar, create cavities, and lead to gum disease. Once you get in the habit of flossing every day, you’ll start to feel the difference, and you won’t want to go without it. Also, get rid of that water pick. It doesn’t remove plaque, and it can drive bacteria back up into your gums.
Change your toothbrush every three months
After three months, toothbrushes are less effective at removing plaque because their bristles break down. Fungus and bacteria can also develop in the bristles, so it’s important to change them regularly. If you’ve been sick, change your toothbrush right away even if it hasn’t been three months. Germs can hide in the bristles and re-infect you with that cold or flu all over again.
Drink filtered tap water (not just bottled)
If your bottled water is fluoridated, then go ahead and keep drinking it exclusively. But if it’s not, your teeth may be vulnerable to cavities. The fluoride in tap water helps strengthen teeth and remineralizes damaged enamel. In other words, it makes your teeth less susceptible to an acid attack.
Chew sugarless gum after meals
Chewing sugarless gum increases saliva flow, which clears out food remnants, neutralizes acids, and gets rid of bacteria. Studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can reduce tooth decay. Sugary gums will increase saliva flow, but the sugar negates the positive effects. Choose gums sweetened by xylitol or sorbitol to reap the benefits of gum chewing.
Treat yourself to dentist visits
It may not sound like much of a treat, but when you visit your dentist regularly (and follow through on any needed dental work), you get the peace of mind knowing you’re taking care of yourself. And at Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, it actually is a bit of a treat.
Why? Two reasons:
- We offer sedation dentistry.
- We’ll pick you up in our limo.
Not only will we help you maintain optimum oral health, we’ll help you do it comfortably and in style.
And if more comfort and more style aren’t on your list of New Year’s resolutions, well…they should be.
Happy New Year, San Diego!
Come see us.