Many New Year’s resolutions have to do with your health. Often times, it’s about weight loss, exercise or just eating healthier.
But many forget about one of the most important healthy qualities — our teeth. Oral healthcare is a seldom used resolution, but it’s one that can have terrific benefits both in the short and long term.
Here are 5 tips for better oral healthcare in 2015.
1. Get back to the basics.
Let’s just get this out of the way quickly. Brush your teeth before you go to work. Brush before you go to bed. Two minutes at a time. Don’t forget to floss. If you’re not there yet, don’t fret. This tip will make the largest impact if you stick with it and make it a habit.
2. Buy an electric toothbrush.
Push the power button and let it do the work. No more motioning back and forth. No need to push hard on the gums. Gently and slowly let it work through your mouth. A 2011 review of studies by the independent Cochrane Collaboration found that electric toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than ones with side-to-side motion.
3. Make better food choices.
Eat more chicken, cheese, nuts, firm fruits and milk. The more calcium, the better — especially for tooth enamel. Take it easy on candy, especially hard candy. Cookies, potato chips and pretzels aren’t good either. These foods have too much sugar and can stick to teeth, making it easier for bacteria to harvest.
4. Chew gum.
The catch? It has to be sugar-free. Chewing gum actually helps break up food that’s stuck in your teeth and increases saliva to neutralize oral acid.
5. Keep your toothbrush clean.
Rinse your toothbrush and make sure it sits upright when not in use. Don’t store it in plastic containers because it leads to mold growth. If it rests in a bathroom, make sure you keep the toilet seat down at all times…gross, I know. Use hydrogen peroxide on it periodically and replace toothbrush head every 3-4 months.
Maintaining excellent oral health can be a great New Year’s resolution for 2015, and it can also lead to long-term benefits.