The new year is here, which means it’s time to think about what you’d like to accomplish in 2023. Many people plan to save money or exercise regularly, but there’s one thing that’s often overlooked–dental health. Your oral and general health are closely connected. There isn’t any better time than now to invest in a healthy mouth and body. Here are 5 New Year’s resolutions for healthier teeth and gums.
1. Improve Your Brushing Routine
Tooth decay is the most prevalent oral health problem, despite being preventable. Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against cavities.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice daily for 2 minutes. If you skip brushing before bed or don’t brush long enough, now is a great time to revamp your routine. Strive to brush after every meal.
2. Commit to Daily Flossing
Not only is gum disease a leading cause of tooth loss, but it can also increase your risk of health problems, like heart attacks and strokes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of adults have the infection.
If you’re not flossing your teeth daily, you are leaving 40% of their surfaces uncleaned. Use high-quality floss to clean between each tooth at least once a day.
3. Limit Sugars and Starches
Everyone loves a sweet treat or a bag of potato chips, but sugars and starches feed cavity-causing bacteria. It’s best to choose healthier alternatives, like fresh fruits and vegetables. If you can’t resist your sweet tooth or a salty snack, brush your teeth after you’ve finished.
4. Drink More Water
Healthcare professionals recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and healthy. Water also prevents your mouth from becoming too dry to reduce oral bacteria growth. Every sip you take will also cleanse your mouth to remove food residue and cavity-causing bacteria.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Besides caring for your smile at home, the American Dental Association recommends a cleaning and checkup every 6 months, even if you don’t have any oral health concerns.
Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar. Your dentist will monitor your oral health to detect anything concerning early. You’ll prevent a small issue from turning into a big problem to preserve your smile. You’ll even save money because you won’t have to pay for restorative procedures by keeping common oral health issues at bay.
Whether you rush through brushing or skip semi-annual dental appointments, it’s never too late to give your smile the attention it deserves. Make 2023 the year you achieve optimal oral health.
About Dr. J. Robert Donnelly
Dr. Donnelly earned his dental degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center and has regularly continued his education to provide up-to-date services. He is a proud member of many professional organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association. If you need a cleaning and checkup, request an appointment through our website or call (512) 396-5225.