Every January, many of us decide to take stock of our lives and draw up a list of worthy New Year’s Resolutions. These are intended to give us the nudge we need to improve our habits, look after our health and generally make all the right decisions.
One area that can be overlooked in this process is dental care and oral hygiene. After all, we often brush our teeth twice a day and then tend to forget about them. Why not make 2023 the year that you pay special attention to your teeth and start giving them a little more love?
Here are six ideas for New Year’s Resolutions aimed at keeping your teeth and mouth sparkling clean and healthy.
Change your toothbrush
Toothbrushes are often neglected when it comes to replacing household items when they grow a bit old. Whereas they really need to be replaced around every three months, or sooner than that is the bristles are starting to fray or shed. If you are still using a manual brush, consider switching to an electric one instead. These can help clean your teeth more thoroughly and reach areas that are harder to access. Many electric brushes also have built-in timers to help you remember to brush for the recommended two minutes each time.
Floss your teeth regularly
As well as regular brushing, flossing your teeth can help get them a lot cleaner and hygienic. Aim to floss at least once a day to reduce the risk of gum disease, bleeding gums and tooth decay. It helps keep your breath fresher too. We can often come up with a number of excuses to avoid flossing – too tired, not enough time etc. However, making sure you floss for a few days can help establish the habit and get you into a routine. Adding mouthwash to the schedule as well can also help get rid of the final food remnants and dislodged plaque from the mouth. Not to mention make your breath smell even nicer.
Avoid staining food and drink
Stained teeth can affect confidence and self-esteem, as they can seriously impact on appearance. While you can invest in teeth whitening, the effects won’t last long if you eat and drink staining food and beverages after the treatment ends. Particularly staining culprits include tea and coffee, red wine, beer, cola, chocolate and berries. If you find it hard to cut down on these treats completely, try sipping darker drinks through a straw to lessen the area of contact on the teeth.
This is often already high up on the list of New Year’s Resolutions for multiple health reasons. However, improving oral hygiene is a key benefit of giving up tobacco. Smoking can do a great deal of harm to your teeth and make your breath smell too. It increases the risk of tooth loss and gum disease and makes it harder to have dental implants fitted. Ditching the cigarettes also helps strengthen overall health and wellbeing, which will have a knock-on effect on oral welfare and confidence.
Drink more water
Drinking enough water, like giving up smoking, has multiple positive effects on the body. It helps stave off feelings of fatigue and hunger, as well as keeping you hydrated and healthy. As for your teeth, upping the amount of water you drink helps keep food remnants away from the surface between meals and brushing sessions. It also helps with saliva production that washes bacteria away from the teeth to lower the risk of cavities or infection.
Book your next dental check-up
Finally, the start of a new year is often the time when we get a new diary, full of lovely blank pages waiting to be filled in. Why not take time now to book your dental check-ups for the year and write the appointments down? Or add them to your phone so you don’t forget. Seeing the dentist and hygienist regularly is arguably the very best thing you can do to look after your teeth and mouth. Not only does it mean that you have regular access to professional help and advice, any problems or worrying symptoms can be spotted earlier and treated before they become too far advanced.