As you think about self-improvement goals for the year, resolving to improve your dental health is a great start. Here’s a look at some positive changes you can make to boost your dental health in 2023 and achieve a healthier smile.
- Get serious about brushing and flossing. It can be tempting to skip brushing before bed or when you’re in a hurry in the morning, but the importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day cannot be overstated. Brush your teeth every morning and before bed for at least two minutes each time. In addition to brushing, don’t forget to floss! Regular flossing is essential for removing plaque that builds between your teeth and causes inflammation that can lead to gum disease.
- Avoid habits that hurt your teeth. From using your teeth as tools and biting your nails to smoking cigarettes, there are many habits that can wreak havoc on your smile. Biting hard objects can crack or chip your teeth, while tobacco products can cause tooth stains, gum disease and even oral cancer. Identify any habits that may be harming your teeth and start taking to steps to reduce — and eventually eliminate — the damaging behavior. You can feel accomplished when you put a bad habit to rest while also avoiding lost time and money to restorative and cosmetic dental treatments.
- Be mindful of what you eat and drink. An important part of protecting your smile is making wise diet choices. One way to improve your oral health is by cutting back on your sugar consumption. Not only do sugary foods and drinks weaken tooth enamel, but they also encourage bacterial growth in the mouth, which contributes to cavities. Sticky, chewy and hard candies, along with sports drinks and sodas, are especially harmful and should be avoided. Moreover, these foods and drinks are acidic and typically have a pH of four or less. It’s important to eat alkaline foods to help raise the pH — such as fruits, veggies and healthy fats. This helps the mouth maintain proper pH.
- Stay on top of routine checkups. You could have the best oral hygiene, but if you’re skipping routine dental checkups, you are doing your teeth a disservice. Most people should be seeing their dentist for a cleaning and evaluation at least twice a year. Professional cleanings remove tartar buildup that at-home brushing cannot reach. Your dentist can also check for any problems in their early stages and provide treatment for the issue sooner than later. Use this post as a reminder to schedule your next visit before you forget!
- Address dental issues you have been ignoring. Have you been dealing with tooth sensitivity? Do you grind your teeth in your sleep? Have your gums been bleeding more than usual? If something unusual comes up with your teeth or gums, it is always best to bring it to your dentist’s attention right away. Waiting too long to address an issue with your smile may result in more pain and expensive, complex treatment down the road.
No matter what your goals are, know that investing in your oral health in 2023 is a decision that can improve your quality of life for years to come. At McLean DDS, we are here to answer any questions you have about your oral health, and we look forward to helping you smile in 2023!