9 New Year’s Resolutions for Optimal Oral Health

9 new year’s resolutions for optimal oral health
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You’ve likely already made New Year’s resolutions, but have you considered your teeth? Taking care of your smile is essential to your oral health and ensures that you can smile confidently throughout 2024.

If you want to guarantee optimal oral health this New Year, here are nine suggestions for teeth-friendly resolutions.

1. Brush for two full minutes twice a day

This New Year, start taking better care of your oral health at home by sticking to a rigorous brushing schedule. After all, brushing your teeth plays an essential role in ensuring your long-term oral health.

Unfortunately, many people miss the mark in this area. Improper and inadequate brushing is actually extremely common. Even if you’re trying to take proper care of your teeth, you might be making a few simple mistakes that can lead to oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

You must brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day. Studies have shown that brushing for two minutes significantly improves oral health by removing food debris, bacteria, and plaque.

If you skip your morning or evening brush—or if you brush for less than two minutes—bacteria begins to produce acid that eats away at your enamel, eventually damaging your gums, decaying your teeth, and causing gingivitis.

So, do your part to ensure optimal oral health in 2024 by brushing once in the morning and again in the evening. Set a timer for two minutes, position your brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline, and get brushing!

2. Commit to flossing every day

Floss is a vital part of your at-home oral health toolkit. Too many Mississauga patients think they can forgo this crucial step; however, that just isn’t the case. The fact is that brushing alone almost always fails to remove all food particles, stubborn sugars, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth.

Toothbrush bristles struggle to dislodge debris from hard-to-reach places, like between your teeth. If not properly removed, these lingering particles feed the natural bacteria in your mouth.

The bacteria produces acid that weakens your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. Consequently, flossing is an essential part of preventing cavities.

3. Switch to a better toothbrush

All toothbrushes are not created equally. Some simply fail to do the job, whereas others can actually damage your teeth. Upgrading your toothbrush could be the easiest change you make in the coming year.

Electric toothbrushes are highly effective at removing plaque and food particles, thus keeping your teeth healthy and bright between dental visits. If you prefer non-electric, just make sure the toothbrush has soft bristles. Hard-bristled versions can wear down your enamel.

Furthermore, you should change your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you’ve gone electric) every 3–4 months or as soon as the bristles are frayed.

4. Keep a travel-sized mouthwash with you

Mouthwash is a powerful tool that can optimize your oral health. We suggest carrying a travel-sized mouthwash with you so you can rinse your mouth after meals, coffee, or alcohol.

Rinsing your mouth helps remove lingering food particles and sugars that can spur the development of cavities. The sooner you can give your mouth a wash after eating, the less time there is for bacteria to consume any residues and produce acid.

Rinsing with mouthwash is a great alternative to brushing after every meal or snack throughout the day. After all, you can damage your tooth enamel by over-brushing.

5. Protect your teeth during physical activities

Sports are great for physical fitness and emotional well-being; however, they can sometimes be hard on your smile. If you or a member of your family play a sport, you should consider having a custom mouthguard made.

Mouthguards provide much-needed protection during certain physical activities. Ultimately, wearing a mouthguard can be the difference between losing a tooth or keeping your beautiful smile intact. Its job is to protect your teeth from injury or damage while you’re having fun and competing. We recommend custom mouthguards for their superior fit, comfort, and reliability.

6. Address your bruxism

Bruxism is the technical term for teeth clenching, which affects many of our Mississauga patients. Although it can occur at any time, sleep bruxism happens at night, when you may not even realize that you’re doing it.

You may experience soreness in your jaw or neck, a persistent earache, or increased tooth sensitivity. Additionally, your partner may hear you grinding and clenching your teeth at night.

Unaddressed bruxism can lead to damaged teeth, jaw disorders, and severe facial pain.

Stress-relieving strategies can help alleviate teeth clenching, yet you may also want to get a mouthguard to wear at night. Wearing a mouthguard nightly will help protect your teeth throughout the year.

7. Straighten your teeth

Straighter teeth are easier to take care of—it’s that simple. Misaligned teeth go hand in hand with more hard-to-reach places and hiding spaces for harmful bacteria. It can also be hard to brush and floss crooked teeth effectively. Plaque and tartar build up over time, thus increasing your chance of developing cavities or gum disease.

That’s why orthodontic treatment isn’t just a cosmetic issue (although having a straighter, more beautiful smile is a definite bonus). Straightening your teeth through braces or Invisalign has a very real impact on your long-term oral health.

And, no, orthodontic treatment isn’t just for teens. Patients of all ages benefit from these comprehensive treatments.

8. Quit bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol

Hopefully, you already know that smoking is bad for your oral and overall health. The use of tobacco products is inextricably linked to serious health issues, including gum disease and oral cancer.

Smokers are ten times more likely to get oral cancer and twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-smokers. Plus, smoking stains and damages your teeth.

Drinking too much alcohol is also the antithesis of oral health. Alcohol is full of sugars and acids, which can speed up the onset of cavities. In 2024, strive to limit your consumption of alcohol as much as you can. Maybe give Dry January a try!

9. Visit your Mississauga dentist every 6 months

The decisions you make at home are incredibly important for your long-term oral health. Brushing twice a day for two full minutes, flossing, protecting your teeth, and quitting bad habits are essential steps in taking care of your teeth.

However, don’t forget to visit your Mississauga dentist at Bristol Dental Clinic at least twice a year! Our experienced and gentle dentists remove plaque and tartar buildup, while also checking for tooth decay and developing diseases. It’s a crucial part of your oral health.

Mississauga Dentist: Contact the Oral Health Experts

When was your last visit to the dentist? Contact us today to make your first appointment of 2024.

To book an appointment in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental Clinic at 866-673-2109 or contact us here

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