Every year people make New Year’s Resolutions only to have them go by the wayside before the end of the first month. Establishing good oral health habits will protect your teeth and gums for many years to come. When making New Year’s resolutions, set goals that give you the chance to improve your health. Preventive dental care and maintaining healthy teeth and gums will help to keep the rest of your body in balance.
5 New Year’s Resolutions for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Learn How to Brush and Floss Properly
Many of the problems people have with their teeth and gums begin with improper brushing and flossing techniques. Ask your dentist to show you the best way to brush and floss your teeth. This will help to remove debris on all surfaces and in the areas between your teeth.
Keep Your Dental Appointments!
It is extremely important to visit the dentist twice a year. Schedule and keep your 6-month dental appointments. Visiting your dentist will help you to keep potential problems at bay, as well as correct any problems that may exist at the time of the appointment.
Eat Healthier Foods
Eating healthy foods will strengthen your teeth and gums. Sugars and acids from some foods can do harm to your teeth. When you eat certain raw vegetables and fruit, cheese, milk and meat, you provide your teeth with the minerals they need to remain strong. Some foods are anti-microbial and will lower the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth, reducing your risk of infection and illness. Healthy foods support the immune system. For a great list of foods that are healthy for your teeth, check out this article.
Avoid Sugary Snacks
Avoid sugary snacks and foods. Eating foods that are sticky or hard can damage the teeth. Hard candies can crack the enamel, while sugary, sticky foods can create an excessive amount of bacteria that can attack the teeth, causing cavities and infection.
Gargle with Mouthwash
When you can’t brush your teeth, you can get a small amount of benefit by using an ADA-approved mouthwash. This type of mouthwash has cleaning agents and fluoride to help remove debris and protect the teeth. Using a mouthwash after eating sweet foods can neutralize sugar and bacteria.
Furthermore, gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash can help prevent COVID and gargling with an antiviral mouthwash can help treat COVID by reducing the viral load in the mouth. The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance has prepared protocols for the prevention and treatment of COVID which include the following:
- For the prevention of COVID, in addition to specific medications and vitamins, gargle with mouthwash 2 x daily – gargle (do not swallow) antiseptic mouthwash with cetylpyridinium chloride (e.g. Scope™, Act™, Crest™), 1% povidone/iodine solution or Listerine™
with essential oils.
- For the treatment of COVID, in addition to specific medications and vitamins, gargle 3 x daily with antiviral mouthwash (do not swallow; must contain chlorhexidine (Peridex), povidone-iodine, or cetylpyridinium chloride). Peridex is available by prescription. Please request a prescription from your dentist IF you are treating COVID.
Maintaining healthy teeth is important if you plan on keeping them for the rest of your life. This year, make New Year’s resolutions that will be easy to keep and have many health benefits. You only get one set of permanent teeth. Protect them for as long as you can.