People commonly make New Year’s resolutions about different aspects of their health. They may want to lose weight, build more muscle, or improve their cardiovascular fitness. Interestingly, people seldom set goals pertaining to their dental care, but this is still a critical aspect of overall health. Taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums can help ward off bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. It can also help ensure that you hang onto your pearly whites as you age.
The great thing about oral care is that it doesn’t take long. Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your teeth healthy in the coming year.
- Change your toothbrush regularly – The reason a toothbrush is to be exclusively used by one person is to prevent the spread of germs from one mouth to another. But even if you don’t share your toothbrush, your own germs from previous illnesses can linger in your toothbrush and make you ill again. If you get sick, consider changing your toothbrush. Beyond that, it is recommended that you change your toothbrush every three months. The bristles can become compromised and lose the strength they need to adequately clean your teeth.
- Hydrate properly – If you are used to quenching your thirst with sports drinks, energy drinks, or soda, consider changing this habit. Sugary drinks lead to tooth decay. Instead of sugar-filled drinks, choose plain water for proper hydration, except perhaps in cases when you need to replace lost electrolytes after a strenuous workout. If you do splurge on a high-sugar drink, brush afterward.
- Avoid excessive fluoride – Fluoridated water and toothpaste as well as fluoride treatments can be beneficial to dental health. However, fluoride should not be used excessively, especially for children. After brushing with fluoridated toothbrush, try rinsing with plain water to remove the excess fluoride from your mouth.
- Swear off tobacco – If you smoke or chew tobacco, consider eliminating that habit this year. It has been proven that smoking and chewing tobacco can cause several forms of cancer. In addition, tobacco causes an unpleasant odor in your mouth and can stain your teeth.
- Eat right – Eating healthy food, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts, gives the body the needed nutrients and antioxidants to fight oral inflammation and bacteria and protect your teeth and gums.
The New Year is a great excuse to form healthy habits. Focus on optimal oral hygiene in 2017.