As we all settle into a new year, it’s time to start thinking about setting a new personal goal. Resolutions come in many shapes and sizes, but the most traditional New Year’s resolutions center around better health.
Before you sign up for another gym membership, consider setting a resolution to improve your oral health! This is the perfect opportunity to revisit your at-home oral hygiene routine and create better oral health habits. In the sections below, we’ll outline our top three resolutions for healthier teeth and gums in the new year.
1. Minimize acid and sugar
The foods you eat and the beverages you drink have a big impact on your oral health. Acidic foods and beverages wear down your enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. Sugary foods and beverages are equally as detrimental, contributing to harmful bacteria buildup and converting to acid as the sugar particles are digested. And certain beverages (whether they are acidic or sugary) can cause deep-set staining over time, such as coffee and red wine.
You don’t need to cut these out of your diet altogether—but making small modifications can go a long way. Here are some easy ways to minimize the damage caused by acid and sugar:
- Drink water often throughout the day to wash away acid and sugar particles
- Use a fluoride-based mouthwash to boost your enamel strength and fight back against cavities
- Instead of sipping directly from the cup, use a straw for red wine, coffee, or soda
- Chew a stick of sugar-free gum to neutralize acid and improve saliva production
2. Up your water intake
Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to promote better tooth and gum health. Water helps remove harmful bacteria and food particles that contribute to tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. Fluoride-enhanced water will also help build enamel strength, increasing the protective barrier around your teeth.
Drinking water is especially helpful for those who suffer from dry mouth or those who are routine snorers—low saliva production creates the perfect environment for mouth sores, tooth decay, gum disease, and bacterial buildup.
3. Brush for two minutes
Brushing for a full two minutes twice a day will ensure that you reach all surface areas of your teeth. That includes the front, back, and chewing surfaces. But if two minutes sounds like much longer than what you’ve been doing, you’re probably right! If you’re like most people, you are only brushing for 30 to 45 seconds at a time—which means you aren’t getting the full benefits of brushing.
An easy way to make sure you are brushing for the proper length of time is to simply set a timer. Before you brush, set a two-minute timer on your phone. If you want to keep track of your progress each week, you could even download an oral hygiene app! While two minutes might seem like a long commitment at first, keep practicing: your new habit should feel natural after about two weeks or so.
Of course, one of the most important resolutions you can make in 2021 is to set regular appointments with your dentist. Call Caputo Dental today! We’ll help you ensure that you start 2021 off on the right foot with a healthier, brighter smile.