With 2021 right around the corner, you have likely started thinking about all the great things to come in the next year. One of the ways to kick-start the new year is by starting a New Year’s Resolution list. 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.
1. Floss Every Day
You 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. However, if you take the effort in the coming year, you could reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay in hard-to-reach places between your teeth. Plus, you’ll get fresher breath, too!
2. 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.
3. 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. Always remember to follow up with a drink of water to help rinse the acid from your teeth.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Buy an Electric Toothbrush
If you’re still using a manual toothbrush, consider making the upgrade to an electric toothbrush next year. Electric toothbrushes can help clean your teeth significantly better than a manual toothbrush and it will help you get better about brushing for two minutes at a time. The ADA recommends the Oral-B Oscillating-Rotating-Pulsating Power Toothbrush line.
8. Drink Less Sugar
It’s one thing to eat sugar but drinking it is the easiest way to coat your entire mouth in sugar without even realizing it. In the new year, make a resolution to drink less sugar as a way to cut back on overall sugar consumption. This means reducing your soda intake as well as any other sugary drinks you might consume like sports drinks, coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages.
9. Invest in a Tongue Scraper
Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush can remove some bacteria but it isn’t the best method. If you really want to ensure your tongue is as clean and bacteria-free as possible, invest in a tongue scraper to enhance your oral health next year.
10. Stay Hydrated
When your mouth dries out, it means that there isn’t enough saliva to consistently wash away bacteria from your teeth. As a result, it can increase the risk of cavities. To prevent this from occurring, make a New Year’s Resolution to stay hydrated. Sip on water all day long to keep your mouth moist!
11. Whiten Your Smile
It’s normal to experience some staining or yellowing from your eating and drinking habits. Fortunately, boosting your smile’s color is quite simple and can be accomplished from your home. Talk to your Columbia, SC dentist about professional teeth whitening products.
12. Invest In Your Smile
If you’re unhappy with the appearance or function of your smile, make 2021 the year you finally invest in your smile. At Smile Columbia, we offer a wide range of cosmetic and restorative treatments to help you fall in love with your smile.
13. Visit the Dentist Regularly
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. If it’s been several years since you saw a dentist, don’t put it off any longer. 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.