It’s time to put dental health at the top of the new year’s resolution list. Whether you resolve to keep up on a daily dental care routine or introduce new tools to use as part of your cleaning regime, there is plenty you can do to improve your overall oral health. Here are five dental health resolutions your teeth will thank you for.
- Replace Your Toothbrush
Most Americans don’t replace their toothbrush as often as they should. The American Dental Association recommends replacing a toothbrush at least every three to four months. If you notice brush bristles are visibly matted or frayed, replace your toothbrush right away.
2. Stick to Brushing for Two Minutes
Everyone knows the “brush for two minutes” rule, but most people aren’t actually abiding by it. A study by the Journal of Dental Hygiene found that the average person brushes for only 45 seconds. Brushing for a full two minutes can increase plaque removal by more than 25 percent. Try finding a good song to listen to for two minutes, setting an alarm, or investing in a toothbrush with a built-in two-minute timer.
3. Floss Daily
Flossing should follow brushing, but most people on average are missing this important step of their daily dental care routine. Daily flossing removes plaque buildup and bacteria left after brushing the tooth surface and can help you maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth. Failing to effectively remove food debris from between teeth can lead to gingivitis, also known as gum disease. Cleaning spaces between teeth can help stop bleeding gums and reduce the risk of diabetes or stroke. If bored with the daily floss string interdental cleaning routine, mix it up with other flossing options, including floss picks or air and water flosser tools.
4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
While chewing gum is no substitute for actual brushing and flossing, sugar-free options do offer several dental benefits including increased saliva production. Saliva prevents dry mouth and fights against tooth decay. Most sugar-free gum brands contain xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that won’t cause cavities or feed bacteria, and some even offer added benefits for teeth whitening and fighting bad breath. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the chewing gum package to make sure it is the right choice for your mouth.
5. Eat For Healthy Teeth
Maintaining a healthy diet can help improve both physical and oral health. Eat foods rich in calcium and phosphorus to promote strong teeth and bones. Tofu, dark leafy greens, eggs, nuts, and beans are all great options. Vitamin C is great for gum health and can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes, and more. Drink plenty of water, snack smart throughout the day and rinse after eating to prevent sugar from setting on teeth for extended periods of time.
Routine dental check-ups should be at the top of the resolution to make this year. Schedule an appointment with Three Rivers Dental Group today. Our dental professionals have offices conveniently located in Greentree, Cranberry, Greensburg, or Jennerstown.