5 Tips to Kick-off A Healthy New Year
1. Commit to brushing and flossing daily
Daily brushing and flossing ensures that all surfaces of teeth are regularly getting cleaned. Toothbrush bristles are too large to fit in between teeth, and therefore floss is needed to clean these areas to prevent plaque buildup. Without effective, regular home care, remaining bacteria can lead to gum disease or cavity formation. Don’t think you’re brushing long enough? The recommended 2 minutes can easily be tracked by using an electric toothbrush, which also uses ultrasonic movement to clean more thoroughly.
2. Schedule a dental check-up appointment and professional cleaning
According to the American Dental Association, about one third of people in the U.S. do not see a dentist annually. Bleeding gums or sensitivity in teeth are indicators to an underlying problem. Even if your teeth appear and feel fine, it’s smart to have them checked by a dentist at least once a year to ensure the health and well-being of your overall mouth.
3. Kick a bad habit
Smoking and the use of other tobacco products are not only related to gum disease and oral cancer, but can also stain teeth, slow healing after mouth surgery, and dull your sense of taste and smell. To reduce your risk in these areas, it is strongly recommended that you quit the bad habit. Exercising, chewing gum, and keeping yourself occupied can help aid you in quitting.
4. Watch your diet
Although limiting sugar intake will certainly benefit your pearly whites, reducing constant snacking will lower your risk for cavities. When you ingest foods or drinks, cavity-causing bacteria remain in the mouth and produce acid that attacks the outer protective enamel layer of your teeth. If you indulge frequently, your teeth become over-exposed to this environment, therefore increasing the possibility of cavity formation. Follow a meal or snack with a large glass of water to help wash away remaining bacteria and buffer the acidic environment teeth are exposed to.
5. Show off that smile!
Did you know that you use only 12 muscles to smile versus 113 to frown? When you smile, you not only make other people feel better about themselves, but also raise your self-esteem and increase your positivity. Smiling releases endorphins in your brain, and endorphins are nature’s ‘happy drug’. Therefore, when you genuinely smile not only will you brighten another person’s day, you yourself will feel happy!