Something about the start of a new calendar year is powerful. It’s a time when many choose to create new habits and refocus on those they may have lost touch with. Some opt to go to the gym, while others vow to renew their mental health. Many who make New Year’s resolutions fear falling out of the habit quickly and “failing” at their goals for the year — often as a result of setting too lofty or broad of a goal. While creating a resolution to take better care of your teeth and gums this year may seem broad, there are real, easy and actionable steps you can take to meet your goal of having a brighter, healthier smile this year.
Book an Appointment
Booking an appointment with your dentist is the first (and likely most time-consuming) step of meeting your New Year’s resolution. You’ll want to be seen to get a basic checkup. This will give you and your dentist a baseline feel for what’s going on inside your mouth, and will allow you to figure out a plan of action based on what needs to be done.
Your dentist may take X-rays during your appointment to ensure that your teeth are healthy from the inside out. You may get one of your suggested twice-a-year cleanings when you’re in for your checkup. Once your dentist examines your teeth, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do to take care of your smile.
For some folks, a better smile in the new year might consist only of a teeth cleaning or teeth-whitening treatments. Others may need more extensive treatments to attain health and aesthetic improvements. Discuss your concerns and goals with your dentist and their team. They can help you figure out the best way to keep your resolution.
Keep Up with Home Care
Home care is a cornerstone of having healthy teeth and gums. Brush and floss either twice a day or as recommended by your dentist. The goal is to remove stuck food particles, cut down on plaque and biofilm and reduce the number of bacteria that contribute to plaque. A proper tooth-brushing session should last at least two minutes and should cover all surfaces of your teeth that you can access to clean — not just the fronts. You’ll also want to brush your gums and tongue at this time, using a tongue scraper if necessary to remove buildup.
Choose tools and aides to make brushing easier or more fun so you’ll stick with it. Electric toothbrushes can help you achieve a more thorough cleaning when you brush. Some toothbrushes come equipped with built-in timers to ensure you’re brushing for a full two minutes. Other people opt to keep a small egg timer in the bathroom to keep the habit going.
Choose a fluoridated toothpaste unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Consider a new flavor to switch up your brushing habits. Likewise, flavored floss or gadgets to make flossing easier can help spice up your home care brushing routine.
Eat for Success
If your New Year’s resolutions also include getting more physically fit, you can kill two birds with one stone by being mindful of what and how you eat. Choose non-staining, non-acidic foods to keep your teeth looking and feeling good. Avoid extra-sugary and sticky foods to cut down on the probability of cavities or damage.
When you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Every time you snack or sit down for a meal, your mouth is bathed in acid to help break down your food. If you must have a sweet treat or snack, do so right after a meal to cut down on the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.
Eschewing staining beverages like coffee, tea and wine, or sugary sodas, can be tough. But water truly is the best choice for your teeth. Not only can a glass help rinse off your teeth after a meal, but it can help neutralize damaging acids and wash away sugars, staining agents and other hazards.
Consider Other Improvements
If your teeth are already in pretty good shape but could still use a little improvement, don’t avoid the dentist’s chair. Instead, get your cleaning and checkup and discuss cosmetic improvements like teeth-whitening treatments to give you a truly stellar smile. If you’re looking to improve minor alignment issues, ask your dentist whether Invisalign or other treatments may be right for you.
How We Can Help
We want to see you succeed in keeping your New Year’s resolution to have a brighter, whiter, straighter smile. The office of Drs. Krieger and Hur is ready and waiting to help you meet your goals. Get your spot booked today by calling the office at (201) 560-0606 or secure your appointment via email by clicking here.
Whether you just need a regular checkup and cleaning or want to create an action plan to get your smile in shape this year, we can help.