As you head into 2021, you’re likely setting goals to make the most of the year ahead. While you might plan to exercise more often or pay off debt, your dentist encourages you to put a healthy smile at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list. Simple changes throughout the year can have a lasting impact on your smile. Here are 4 habits you should start right away to achieve optimal oral health.
1. Brush before going to bed.
From a young age, you were taught to brush your teeth at least twice a day; however, it’s easy to crawl into bed without thinking about your toothbrush. If you don’t brush your teeth at night, you’re allowing harmful bacteria to accumulate in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Even if you’re exhausted, take the time to brush your teeth for at least two minutes before heading to bed. Don’t forget to brush in the morning after finishing your breakfast.
2. Floss your teeth every night.
Your toothbrush can’t clean in between your teeth, which will cause food particles and bacteria to be trapped in the tight spaces. Flossing is the only way to remove the buildup. If you’re like many Americans, you might view it as a chore, so you skip it when cleaning your teeth. Unfortunately, you’re significantly increasing your risk of gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss. Commit to using high-quality dental floss to clean in between each tooth every night.
3. Visit your dentist regularly.
Besides caring for your teeth and gums at home, they also rely on regular care from your dentist. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Preventive care is designed to keep your smile healthy to avoid a costly treatment down the road. It’s best to see your dentist at least every 6 months, even if you don’t have any dental concerns.
4. Skip sugary treats.
Sugar contributes to tooth decay. As a result, your dentist recommends you only have sugary foods in moderation to preserve your enamel. If you can’t ignore your sweet tooth, brush your teeth right away. If you can’t get to your toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water or chew a piece of sugarless gum to help cleanse your teeth.
Invest in a Healthy Smile
As you focus on the year ahead, make sure a healthy smile is part of your New Year’s resolutions list. You can ensure excellent dental health with a proactive approach to your oral hygiene.
About Dr. Robert Young
Dr. Young earned his dental degree from the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry. He has completed advanced training in implant surgery, sedation dentistry, and many other specialties. He can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. If you’re ready to invest in your dental health, contact our office today to schedule your appointment for a cleaning and checkup.