Healthy Resolutions for a Brighter Smile in 2019

Are New Year’s resolutions a waste of time or a great idea? Well, if you’re one of the eight percent of people who actually follow through annually on their New Year’s resolutions, then it’s a great idea. For the rest of you…well, maybe not so much. But part of the problem with New Year’s resolutions failing is that many of them are too difficult to stick with.

But we’ve got nine New Year’s resolutions for you that could have a significant impact on your oral health in 2019 AND are actually accomplishable.

Practice the 2×2+1 Program

If you commit to following the 2×2+1 program which means brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing once daily – your oral health will improve in 2019. To help you to remember to floss, stick your floss container if front of your toothbrush or toothpaste so that you have to pick it up to get at your toothpaste or toothbrush. Also, be sure to keep a container of floss at work, in your car, and in your purse (if you carry one) so that you always have the option to floss on the go. 

Your Teeth Are Meant for Food

Your teeth are meant for chewing food, not opening plastic packaging or tearing off bottle caps. They are also not designed for chewing on hard pencils, ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy. If you do those thing regularly, you will eventually chip or crack a tooth which could eventually require a root canal! 

Go Sugar Free If You Chew Gum

If you like to chew gum, then switch your sugar-soaked gum for a sugar-free brand. There are innumerable flavors of sugar-free gum, and you’ll get a bonus if you pick one that has xylitol, a non-sugar sweetener that reduces plaque. Another bonus is that chewing sugar-free gum produces saliva in your mouth, which helps wash away particles of food and acid from your teeth. 

Grab A New Toothbrush Every 90 Days

Take a cue from the old adage out with the old, in with the new as you get ready for 2019 toss your used toothbrush for a new one. As you move forward into 2019, be sure to toss your toothbrush for a new one every 90 days. In fact, put it on your calendar so you’ll be sure to be successful with your new toothbrush resolution.

Lower Your Sugar Consumption

One of the most significant ways you can reduce your chances of tooth decay is by reducing your sugar consumption. Start 2019 by cutting back on the number of sugary treats you purchase. But be sure to give yourself alternatives for your favorite sugar-packed foods and beverages. Why not drink sparkling water with a twist of lime instead of soda, or chew a piece 0f sugar-free gum with xylitol when you have a sugar-craving. 

Lose the Habit

Are you a smoker? If you are, then you are doubling your risk of gum disease and increasing your risk of an assortment of other health problems. So pick a date to stop your unhealthy habit, purge your home of all tobacco, and seek support from your friends and family for this difficult but necessary choice. Also, think about starting or restarting a healthy activity or hobby that will take you mind off the habit you are trying to kick.

Embrace Fluoride

One of the most important ways to prevent cavities and tooth decay is by drinking fluoridated water. Fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to attacks from acid in your mouth. Remember, acid is what leads to tooth decay. Most bottled waters don’t contain fluoride, whereas tap water does contain fluoride. You can boost your fluoride by being sure to use toothpaste with fluoride, and getting a fluoride treatment each time you visit your dentist for a hygiene visit and checkup.

You Are What You Eat

Many oral health problems are linked to eating an unhealthy diet. Your entire immune system can be affected by poor nutrition, which can lead to increased susceptibility to periodontal disease (gum disease) and other oral issues. The body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation in your teeth and gums is boosted by the nutrients (especially antioxidants) found in vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes. Raw fruits and vegetables that are crisp – such as carrots, apples and celery – add a bonus to your oral health because they help clean plaque from teeth and freshen your breath.

Visit Your Dentist – Regularly

Seeing your dentist every six months for a hygiene visit and checkup is a critical part of a good oral health program. If you don’t have a visit scheduled, be sure to get one on your calendar in January and then make your next appointment at the end of that visit to the dentist. If you are having issues like sensitive teeth or bleeding gums, don’t wait for your twice-a-year visit make an appointment right away.

Sources: Delta Dental, Colgate

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