There is no better time than now to make your New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, resolutions have a reputation for being noble goals that are forgotten by February. This year, make some doable resolutions for your oral health.
Here are just a few ideas to keep those pearly whites pristine in 2019:
Use the Right Tools
The right tools make all the difference in ensuring that you practice proper oral hygiene. Your oral health depends on your brushing your teeth twice a day; however, not all toothbrushes are created equal. Toothbrush bristles range from soft to hard, but unless advised by your dentist, you should brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush and a doctor-recommended toothpaste.
Many people do not know the proper way of brushing their teeth. Dentists recommend that your toothbrush is angled at 45 degrees to your gum line as you gently move the bristles in short, back-and-forth strokes.
If you haven’t tried an electric toothbrush, consider investing in one. An electric toothbrush is better at removing plaque than a manual brush. The brushing action of the electric toothbrush also makes it easier to use.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough to maintain a clean and healthy mouth because you also need to clean in between your teeth. Flossing helps prevent cavities and gum diseases. It is difficult to remove the plaque that settles in between your teeth, but when you don’t remove it, it hardens and can cause other problems. Plaque contains bacteria that thrive on sugar and leftover food. This bacteria releases acids that eat away at the outer shell of your teeth, causing cavities. By flossing, you are removing as much plaque as possible, which can save you from serious dental problems down the line.
Pay Attention to Your Tongue
Good oral hygiene is not limited to just your teeth. Plaque and bacteria also gather on and around your tongue. After brushing your teeth, it is important that you also clean your tongue, either with a toothbrush or a tongue cleaner. (Yes, there is such a thing.) Cleaning your teeth but not the tongue means that there is still plenty of bacteria in your mouth, which can migrate to your teeth.
Make it a habit of brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. You can also fortify your teeth by using a fluoride mouth rinse.
Fluoride strengthens teeth. Drinking water with fluoride in it allows the fluoride to enter the bloodstream and reinforce your teeth. Fluoride also becomes part of the saliva to toughen up the teeth from the outside. Enamel that has been strengthened by fluoride is less prone to damage from bacteria.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Lastly, you need to see your dentist twice a year for dental maintenance. Your dentist will clean your teeth and check for any signs of teeth and gum problems. If you experience any symptoms or dental problems, don’t wait for the next regular appointment with the dentist. Get seen as soon as possible.
Make this year’s resolutions stick by setting a goal of good oral hygiene. Follow the above steps, and two things will happen: you’ll feel good that you kept your goals, and your mouth will thank you.