If you’re considering a New Year’s resolution this year, there are many that you can choose from that will make your smile healthier and more attractive. This will contribute to your overall health, too, and will improve your appearance for the upcoming year. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Floss Every Day

dreamstime_xs_45303716You know you’re supposed to floss every day, but many people don’t. There’s always some good excuse, such as that you’re tired or flossing is annoying, but if you take the effort in the coming year, you could reduce your risk of gum disease and for tooth decay in hard-to-reach places between your teeth. And you’ll get fresher breath, too!

Brush the Full 2 Minutes

Another simple way to improve your oral hygiene is to make sure that you are cleaning your teeth well is to make sure you’re brushing for the recommended two minutes. Studies have shown that most Americans actually brush for significantly less than one minute!

To make sure you’re brushing long enough, use a timer or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. If you don’t like these options, try singing a timing song. The Jeopardy! theme is a good choice–it’s 30 seconds long. Do it once for each quadrant in your mouth.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Acidic foods can be highly damaging to your mouth. Cokes and sports drinks are among the worst–they’re often as acidic as pure lemon juice–and should be limited. If you are guilty of consuming these beverages on a daily basis, try to reduce the amount you’re drinking. Cut down to no more than one a day, if you drink more. If you just drink one a day, try going down to one every other day. And always remember to follow up with a drink of water to help rinse the acid from your teeth.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits for your teeth and for your health. It increases your risk of gum disease and tooth loss. It even makes it harder to get your teeth replaced with dental implants. This is one of the hardest resolutions to keep, but it’s also one of the most beneficial.

Cut Down on Staining Foods

If you don’t like the way stained teeth affect your appearance, teeth whitening can help, but the results don’t last as long if you’re consuming a lot of staining foods and beverages. Some of the worst culprits are chocolate, coffee, tea, cokes, red wine, dark beer, and berries. That’s a lot of good stuff and it’s hard to cut them out, but just a little bit of reduction can make a difference. Still can’t do it? Try a resolution to use a straw with cold staining beverages.

Cut Down on Snacking

Want a way to lose weight and protect your teeth? Cutting down on snacking will protect both your teeth and your waistline. Snacking between meals gives oral bacteria additional food that they can then turn into acid for attacking your teeth.

See the Dentist

Another good resolution for the coming year is to see your dentist twice. If you haven’t been making your regular dental checkups and cleanings, there’s no better time than now to start. And if it’s been several years since you saw a dentist, don’t put it off any longer. And if it’s anxiety that’s keeping you away, sedation dentistry can help you overcome your fear of the dentist.

There’s no time like the present to get started on this resolution. Please call (803) 781-9090 to schedule an appointment with a Columbia, SC dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.