Updating your dental health routine to make it more detailed and effective is a great idea any day of the year. However, with the popularity of New Year’s resolutions that focus on making positive changes each January 1st, the new year can be a great time to revamp your dental health for the year ahead as well as many years to come.
Improving Oral Health in 2021: What are the Tips and Tricks?
Scheduling regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist is extremely important for maintaining clean, healthy teeth year-round. However, dental appointments alone aren’t enough to keep your smile bright and free of cavities; practicing good dental health on a regular basis in between your visits to the dentist will really make the difference in battling tooth decay and stains.
Maybe you already have a strict regimen around dental upkeep and are simply looking for a few additional tips and tricks to add, or maybe you don’t have a clear picture of what your routine should be when it comes to cleaning your teeth each day or making smart decisions for the sake of oral health. Whatever your situation is, you can benefit from these simple oral health tips to keep in mind when supporting your dental health in the new year.
6 Easy Ways to Make Better Oral Health Decisions in 2021
1. Add mouthwash to your routine
Many Americans have trouble remembering to floss daily in addition to regular brushing, let alone using mouthwash on a consistent basis. However, don’t let the addition of yet another task in your daily dental health routine intimidate you—mouthwash can make a huge difference when it comes to fighting tooth decay, keeping your teeth white, and getting rid of bad breath.
Studies have shown that many mouthwash brands can help to reduce plaque as well as fight against the gum disease gingivitis, especially if the mouthwash contains the antibacterial ingredient chlorhexidine. Mouthwash is typically inexpensive and readily available at any grocery or drug store, but it can be helpful to ask your dentist what brand they recommend before purchasing a bottle.
2. Replace your sugary beverages with water
Most people are aware that drinks with added sugar aren’t great for general health, but the effect that these drinks have on your dental health shouldn’t be underestimated. Beverages such as soda, energy drinks, juice, and sugary coffee are known to cause severe tooth decay in people of all ages when consumed too often. Plus, even some beverages that don’t have added sugar such as black coffee, caffeinated tea, and wine are known to cause significant stains on the teeth.
The best-case scenario for your oral health in 2021 is to ditch sugary drinks altogether and only drink water. However, even your dentist in the Denver metro area knows that avoiding these beverages completely isn’t a reasonable request. In addition to making an effort to reduce your consumption of sugary drinks, you can also develop a habit of drinking water alongside your other beverages in order to essentially wash out your mouth between sips, reducing the amount of sugars or staining agents getting stuck on your teeth.
3. Floss every day
Flossing is much more than a method for removing a piece of pesky food stuck in your teeth. Regular flossing fights plaque buildup and supports good gum health by stimulating them and reducing inflammation. Alongside brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day can greatly reduce your risk of cavities and more serious dental issues.
Much like mouthwash, dental floss is inexpensive and easy to find anywhere dental health items are sold—though you likely received some at your last teeth cleaning appointment.
4. If you have a smoking habit, it’s time to quit
Smoking can cause a wide variety of health issues, one of which being poor oral health. Regular exposure to nicotine weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to effectively heal damaged tissue. This includes the tissues in the gums, which means smokers are more likely to develop gum disease as well as experience much slower healing processes after dental procedures.
In addition to gum disease and slow tissue healing, regular smoking typically causes yellowed teeth and bad breath. If improved oral health is one of your biggest 2021 goals, quitting smoking is a great first step.
5. Make sure you’re brushing properly
Brushing twice a day is the norm that most people are used to, but it’s possible that you may not be brushing in the most optimal way. In order to maximize your brushing’s effectiveness, you should make small, gentle circles on the teeth instead of brushing back and forth or brushing too aggressively.
If you brush too forcefully, you can actually increase gum sensitivity and damage your enamel. Stick to gentle circles for your tooth brushing habit, and make sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
6. Drink more water
The health benefits provided by drinking more water every day are seemingly endless, and one of these benefits is improved oral health. Much like drinking water during the consumption of sugary drinks can prevent tooth decay, drinking water during and after meals can help to prevent plaque buildup by clearing out miniscule bits of food left behind.
Drinking more water can also prevent staining caused by foods and beverages and prevent bad breath. Plus, it can protect your enamel from damage and prevent gum inflammation.