Most of us use the start of a new year as an opportunity to improve ourselves. However, studies show that about 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February. One reason may be that many popular resolutions, such as “lose weight,” “save money,” or “get a healthier smile” are too nebulous. If you really want to stick to a New Year’s resolution, it’s best to separate it into smaller, tangible steps. Luckily, a dentist in Orange Park has four easy resolutions that, when used together, can keep your smile healthy and bright in 2021.
Schedule Your Next Dental Checkup
Has it been a while since you saw your dentist? If so, you’re not alone. The American Dental Association estimates that about one-third of people in the United States don’t visit their dentist yearly. But the truth is most people should attend a dental checkup and cleaning twice a year. Not only can a dental hygienist remove surface stains and plaque from your teeth, but your dentist can detect problems like cavities and gum disease early enough that treatment is still simple and inexpensive. Even if your pearly whites look and feel fine, go ahead and schedule an appointment once your dentist’s office opens after New Year’s Day.
Add Flossing to Your Routine
Brushing twice a day is great, but it just isn’t enough to completely prevent plaque from building up between your teeth. If you don’t already floss daily, the new year is the perfect opportunity to start. To help you remember, you might want to place your floss container on top of your pillow. That way you can’t go to bed without being reminded to clean between your teeth.
Cut Back on Sugar
Cavities form when bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar particles on your teeth. Cutting back on sugar will basically starve out those bacteria so they can’t cause tooth decay. An easy way to do this is to simply limit the number of sugary snacks you buy. Also, if you’re craving something sweet, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum makes a great alternative.
Eat a More Mouth-Healthy Diet
Swap out sugary products for foods and drinks that benefit your mouth. For instance, dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are all rich in calcium that strengthens your teeth. Fibrous fruits and vegetables, such as apples and celery, scrub your teeth clean as you chew and promote saliva flow, washing away excess food debris and bacteria.
These four simple New Year’s resolutions should be easy enough to follow until well past February. In fact, once you get past that point, they should be a permanent part of your routine!
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Patel is a dentist in Orange Park, FL who studied dentistry in her native India before moving to the United States and earning her doctorate from the Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale. She is highly experienced and enjoys making her patients feel comfortable and taking the time to listen to and meet their unique needs. To learn more about how to keep your smile healthy in 2021, visit Dr. Patel’s website or call (904) 278-9011.