Have you made a New Year's resolution to take care of your teeth and gums this year? While brushing more often and taking care of dental issues as they appear seem to be common, easily kept resolutions, they are among the 88% of resolutions that fail. This is because most people probably make a general resolution to take care of their teeth without specific steps to create habits that will allow them to keep their resolution. If you are serious about improving your dental health in the coming year, you should go beyond the habits you already know you should do, such as brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and try these newer, more specific ideas.
Get a New Toothbrush
You should replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, and the beginning of the year is a great time to get a new one. While you are at it, you should put your electric toothbrush in storage for a few months and get yourself a regular medium hardness brush with bristles of varying heights and angles. This is because electric toothbrushes can give you a false confidence about the effectiveness of your brushing. Getting back to the basics with an ordinary toothbrush for three months can retrain you to make sure you are brushing in the right direction and getting the hard to reach places, making your electric toothbrush more effective when you start using it again.
Ask Your Hygienist to Evaluate Your Brushing and Flossing Technique
How many times has your dental hygienist explained the proper way to brush and floss? He or she has probably even demonstrated on a model during one of your visits. But if you brush and floss every day and are still having issues with your gums and teeth, it is likely that you are either brushing or flossing wrong. Schedule an appointment with your hygienist at a place like Valley Oak Dental Group Inc to get your teeth cleaned and bring your everyday toothbrush with you. While you are there, ask your hygienist to evaluate your brushing and flossing technique. He or she will be able to give you tips that can increase the comfort and effectiveness of your daily hygiene routine.
Start Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient technique that removes toxins from your system, helps prevent and possibly heal cavities, and keeps your gums healthy. With all of these benefits, oil pulling should be something everyone does on a daily basis, but it is still relatively unpopular. However, oil pulling has one more benefit that will help you keep your New Year's resolution of focusing on your oral health. Since oil pulling is likely a new habit for you, and it takes 10-20 minutes every morning, it gives you time to break your routine and consider your oral health, which can motivate you to stick with your resolution.
Evaluate Your Fluoride Intake
Although the benefits of fluoride are debated, most dentists will agree that it is good for your teeth and gums. If you haven't already, you should find out if your community has fluoridated water. If it does not, or if you drink bottled water instead of tap water, you should talk to your dentist about finding a toothpaste with the right amount of fluoride for your specific situation. Alternatively, you may choose to use a mouthwash with fluoride.
If you want a healthier, whiter smile this year, you should go beyond the generic resolution to take care of your teeth. Try these four specific steps to improving your oral hygiene and see how they can help you build new habits and create a healthier smile.