Top 5 Dental Goals for the New Year
If you haven’t taken perfect care of your teeth in the past, the New Year is a great time for a new beginning. While you set goals to exercise more or to act nicer towards your family, why not set goals to treat your teeth kindly as well?
Boosting your tooth care habits gives you a brighter smile and helps you avoid problems like cavities. Below, you’ll find five simple, but incredibly effective, goals you might set.
- Start Flossing
While they tell all their patients to floss daily, dentists know that many patients don’t follow their advice. If you’re an inconsistent flosser, add flossing to your routine this year. Fortunately, flossing takes just a few minutes-and it removes food particles and bacteria that can lead to cavities.
Dentists recommend not only moving the floss up and down between your teeth, but also against the sides of your teeth. Holding the floss in a “C” shape can help you reach every spot. You should also curve your floss around the tooth so you can floss below the gum line as well.
Remembering to floss doesn’t have to be difficult. Just set some floss next to your toothbrush and make it part of your nightly routine.
- Brush the Right Way
You’re in the habit of brushing your teeth, but you might not brush them the right way. Set a goal this year to brush as thoroughly as possible to make your brushing as effective as you can.
For example, you should set a goal to brush for at least two minutes-something many people don’t do. As you brush, don’t forget to brush these surfaces:
- Each tooth’s chewing surface (top)
- Each tooth’s inside surface
- Behind each tooth
- Your gums
- Your tongue
Don’t forget to move your toothbrush in a back-and-forth motion. Brush at least twice a day-if you’re really ambitious, set a goal to brush after each meal.
- Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods
Many people often forget the importance of eating healthy foods. Even if you’ve already set goals to eat healthier this year, choose to eat foods that keep your teeth healthy as well.
For example, consider adding dairy to your diet. Foods like milk and cheese provide calcium, a mineral which strengthens teeth and enamel. And of course, don’t forget about green vegetables. Because these foods take a long time to chew, they help you produce saliva and create a cleansing effect for your teeth.
You may also make a goal to limit processed and sugary foods, which increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Drink More Water
Drinking more water has a variety of healthful benefits, such as keeping your teeth strong. Water contains fluoride, and this mineral protects your teeth from erosion. It also cleans acid and sugar off your teeth.
Water is also much better for you than soda and sports drinks, since these beverages contain high amounts of tooth-damaging sugar. Set a goal to replace other drinks with water.
- See a Dentist Twice This Year
Do you put off your semi-annual dentist checkups? Make a goal to see your dentist this year.
At routine dental cleanings, dental hygienists use equipment and techniques you can’t. They remove plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing alone can’t remove. Dental exams are also important because your dentist can catch any problems-such as cavities-before they worsen.
If you don’t see a dentist regularly, tartar buildup can cause serious problems, like gum inflammation and bone loss.
While you decide on your New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget about dental goals. Set a tooth-friendly goal and get started on improving your smile this year!