Do you want healthier, whiter, and brighter teeth in 2017? Consider making New Year’s resolutions about your dental health.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Brush More Thoroughly
You’re probably already in the habit of brushing every day. But you could be getting a lot more out of your daily brushing routine than you’re getting now.
For example, dentists say that thorough brushing should take about two minutes. You could set a New Year’s resolution to brush for a full two minutes. Make your resolution a reality by setting a two-minute timer before you start brushing. Or, purchase an electronic toothbrush with a built-in timer.
You could also set a resolution to brush every part of your mouth. Many people forget to brush their gums and tongue, which can also harbor plaque and bacteria. You could also set a goal to brush behind your teeth for as long as you brush the front of your teeth.
Just 30% of Americans floss their teeth daily, according to the 2009 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. If you’re among the 70% who doesn’t, make a goal to floss daily this year.
Flossing provides a more thorough cleaning than brushing alone. It removes food particles and plaque that can cause cavities. Along with guiding the floss between your teeth, also guide it in the space between your teeth and gums. You can curve the floss and gently slide it into the space beside each tooth.
Decrease Sugar Intake
When bacteria eat the sugar in your mouth, they produce acid. This acid wears down your tooth enamel and causes cavities. Sugar is found not only in dessert and candy but also in soda, juice, and processed carbohydrates like chips, crackers, and white bread.
According to the American Heart Association, women should eat no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day. Men should eat no more than nine teaspoons a day.
Protect your teeth by setting a goal to reduce sugar intake. Your resolution will depend on your individual circumstance, but it could be something like:
- Limit desserts to once a week
- Stop buying junk food
- Replace soda with flavored water
- Check food labels for added sugar
These sugar-reducing goals will protect your teeth, protect your overall health, and help you lose weight.
Invest in Cosmetic Treatments
Maybe you have a big event happening this year like a wedding or graduation. Or maybe you’ve wanted to improve your teeth’s appearance for a long time. Set a resolution to finally get the cosmetic treatments that will transform your teeth.
There are many cosmetic treatments available, including:
- Implants. An implant replaces a tooth’s root and attaches to an artificial tooth called a crown. The implant and crown look and act just like a natural tooth.
- Snap-On Smile. This removable tooth cover is built specifically for your mouth. It hides cracks, stains, and gaps in your teeth.
- Implant-supported dentures. These dentures are more secure than traditional dentures because they attach directly to your implants.
Set an appointment with your dentist to discuss the right cosmetic procedures for you.
If you want straighter teeth, make a goal to get orthodontic treatment. It’s never too late to do so—many adults are getting braces for the first time.
Orthodontic options include:
- Metal braces. These traditional braces straighten and align your teeth using brackets and wires.
- Ceramic braces. These braces are similar to metal braces, but they have clear brackets that are less noticeable.
- Invisible aligners. If you want an entirely different option, you can use a series of transparent aligners that slowly move your teeth into place.
Again, your dentist or orthodontist can help you choose the right treatment. Treatment time depends on your individual circumstances but usually lasts between 18 months and three years.
Schedule a Dental Checkup
Dentists recommend that you get a cleaning every six months. Dental hygienists can remove hardened plaque that you can’t remove with brushing and flossing. Your dentist can also take a close look at your teeth, gums, and mouth. He or she will check for cavities, gum disease, teeth grinding, oral cancer, and other dental health conditions.
Taking care of your dental health benefits your teeth and your overall health. Researchers have found a connection between poor dental health and health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Make a resolution to visit your dentist twice this year.
As you write down your list of New Year’s resolutions this year, make sure you include dental resolutions. You can make 2017 a year of healthier teeth and a healthier you. Don’t forget to set an appointment with Crest Hill Family Dental today. We’ll even make recommendations to help you improve your teeth in the best way possible.