While most people focus on the big-ticket items for their New Year’s resolutions, such as losing weight, exercising more, and eating a healthy diet, it’s a mistake to overlook improving or maintaining your dental health as a focus of 2021. Unhealthy teeth and gums can lead to major health issues, so taking care of them should be a priority.
At Signature Smiles Dentistry in Parker, Colorado, Nate Gunning, DDS, and his team offer comprehensive dental care to help you stick to your dental health resolutions. Here, they offer seven resolutions you should make to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
According to Delta Dental’s Oral Health and Well-Being Survey, only 41% of Americans reported flossing daily, and 20% admitted they never floss. If you’re one of the 59% who don’t floss regularly or the 20% who never does, you should make daily flossing your top dental health resolution.
Flossing helps to remove plaque, tartar buildup, and food particles stuck between your teeth and under your gums. When you don’t floss, you’re at higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay than those who do floss daily.
Brush Twice a Day
Don’t skimp on brushing. Brushing in the morning and before you go to bed, at minimum, for two minutes is vital to good oral health. Brushing only once doesn’t do the trick. It gives harmful bacteria and plaque a chance to thrive.
Some adults just phone it in and don’t brush properly, meaning they don’t use the right technique to cover all parts of every tooth, and for a full two minutes.
Brushing properly means placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and using short brush strokes (don’t scrub!) about 15 to 20 times for each tooth. You need to brush inner and outer tooth surfaces as well as chewing surfaces.
Smoking is bad for your health in so many ways. You should make 2021 the year you give up this unhealthy habit. Smokers have twice the risk of gum disease than nonsmokers. Plus, once you have gum disease, smoking makes it harder to heal.
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
Sure, you want your teeth pearly white. Often as adults, we choose the toothpaste that delivers a better smile. However, picking a toothpaste with fluoride should be your priority. Fluoride helps reduce cavities and also keeps your tooth enamel strong.
Watch What You Eat
What goes in your mouth is as important as what goes on your teeth when it comes to dental health. Eating foods rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, and cheese helps you maintain healthy bones, including your teeth.
Eating foods high in sugar can accelerate tooth decay. If you do eat sweets, be sure to rinse or brush your teeth afterward.
Get Regular Dental Cleanings
While brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining good oral health, even the most dedicated flossers and brushers won’t be able to rid their mouths of all plaque and tartar.
Professional dental cleanings can eliminate the plaque and bacteria that build up beneath your gum line, which helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues.
For more information on maintaining healthy teeth and gums, or to schedule your next dental checkup or cleaning, call Signature Smiles Dentistry for an appointment with Dr. Gunning. For your convenience, you can also request an appointment online through this website.