Are you ready to make the biggest change of your life? We’re kidding. This post is all about simple, effective, and manageable changes that you can start today. We believe the little changes add up quickly if you can commit to even a few.
In this article, we’ll outline 4 easy resolutions you can make now (even before the new year starts) for a better smile. If working as part of a team motivates you, consider challenging a few friends or family members to start the resolutions with you. Track who can keep their commitments for the longest streak, and don’t be afraid to get creative with prizes.
Let’s dive in!
1 | Cleaning more frequently, and more thoroughly
Brushing your teeth is, well, a little boring. Mixing up your cleaning routine with some new tools is an easy way to get a deeper clean feeling and keep potential dental problems at bay. Adding a few new cleaning tools to your medicine cabinet is especially important if you’re currently undergoing treatment with braces, retainers, or another orthodontic implement.
What can you change without too much effort? Here’s a quick list to get your started:
- Read our short blog article called “Meet Your Teeth” about the different aspects of oral health and care.
- Add flossing to your daily oral care. You likely hear it from your dentist at each visit, but gentle flossing is a proven way to keep gums clean.
- If flossing hasn’t stuck in the past, try a more modern device like a waterpik, which comfortably cleans gums with a focused stream of water.
Get one of the specialized tools we cover in our article here to help prevent plaque buildup and get difficult to reach spaces that often become problem areas when left alone.
2 | Make a few dietary changes to keep cavities away
Diet and oral health are closely connected. But there’s good news. You don’t need to make an impossible new year commitment or start the latest fad diet to make a significant difference in your smile. In fact, you’ll get a lot more impact from a few small changes that are kept consistently than a big change that you can’t manage long term.
For starters, try to limit how often you eat throughout the day. Your mouth produces saliva each time you eat, and saliva contains enzymes that help clean teeth and prevent cavities. However, frequent eating still increases wear on your teeth and creates an acidic environment that cavities love This is true even when you’re eating the healthiest possible snack.
Additionally, you should monitor what types of food you eat. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat any foods you enjoy. Instead, it’s a reminder to pursue moderation and balance. An increase in sugary, acidic, or processed foods will highly increase your chances of getting cavities (and canker sores) and possibly worsening existing dental issues.
Here are some fun, easy tips to keep in mind when creating your meal plans:
- Fibrous foods (in addition to aiding your digestive system) can actually help to clean teeth naturally during the chewing process.
- Low-sugar, low-acid foods are best for staving off tooth decay.
- Foods with calcium can help strengthen your enamel.
- Keeping your snacking to only 1 or 2 times a day will go a long way toward preventing tooth decay.
3 | Finally conquer those pesky bad habits
Most of us start practicing bad habits without much thought. What starts as a nervous tick quickly turns into an oral fixation. Even though these habits can feel hard to kick, stopping them for good will help keep your teeth straight and healthy looking. Although something like nail biting feels small, it can damage your teeth from the surface all the way down to the root. The effects can have long-term consequences, including chips, uneven wear, malocclusion, and nerve pain.
Some of the worst (and most common) habits include:
- Teeth grinding
- Nail biting
- Chewing non-food items
- Chewing ice
It’s worth noting that even doing good things the wrong way can be harmful. For example, brushing your teeth too hard can damage enamel, gums, and more.
4 | Schedule an orthodontic consultation to learn about your options
If you are ready to make a bigger change, or at least to learn more about what it will take to get a better smile and oral health, schedule an appointment today. Many people think there’s only one path to a better smile and that the path is expensive and time-consuming. The truth is that there are many ways to improve your smile, and it’s often less expensive and faster than patients assume.