5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Dental Health

Every new year is filled with hope and renewal. It’s a chance to start again and promise ourselves we will be better. Resolutions almost always revolve around weight loss, but what about your oral health? Unless you are perfect in caring for your teeth (and few of us are), let’s take a look at how you can improve your dental care in 2013:

1. Brush for at least two minutes. We’re all busy, which means we often rush through things we shouldn’t. One of the most overlooked pieces of dental health advice is the amount of time you take to brush. Take a breath, relax, and brush gently for a couple minutes in the morning and before bed. Your teeth will thank you for it.

2. Floss every day. Maybe you get around to flossing when you “have the time,” but that’s not consistent enough. Flossing is just as important as brushing, otherwise you leave food particles in between your teeth, which encourages bacteria growth. Floss once a day, preferably before bed to make sure you don’t leave food particles to fester in your teeth all night.

3. Replace your toothbrush more often. You need your toothbrush to be effective, which means it needs to be replaced every two months at a minimum. Not only are old toothbrushes less effective, they also harbor bacteria that can wreak havoc on your oral health.

4. Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum after meals and snacks helps clean your teeth due to the associated saliva production. It also prevents bacteria production and reduces bad breath. You may even find less of an urge to satisfy your sweet tooth.

5. Schedule a dental checkup. If you haven’t already scheduled your next dental checkup, do so the first week of January. Time flies and it’s easy to forget you haven’t been keeping up with the recommended twice-a-year checkups.

Making sure you take care of your oral health is not just important for keeping a healthy and attractive smile. Research has shown that people who are vigilant about caring for their teeth can prevent oral infections, which may have a connection with everything from cardiovascular disease to preterm birth. Do you need anymore reason to improve your dental care habits?