Another year has gone by. While we thought 2020 was the year of covid-19 that changed the world, 2021 continued with lockdowns, isolation, quarantine, and the ever-present masks.
The pandemic is believed to have taken a serious, and potentially long-lasting, toll on oral health. Many dentists saw an increase in stress-related conditions such as teeth grinding, cracked and chipped teeth and symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, like jaw pain. 2021 was also the year that officially proclaimed mask mouth, with symptoms such as dry mouth, bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Hence, it is imperative that we need to go back to basics with simple New Year’s Resolutions in 2022.
Here are 3 resolutions that will help you to get a brighter and healthier smile in 2022.
Strengthen Your Habits
Go over your personal oral health habits and see where you have been slacking or avoiding. A proper dental care is easy when you make simple choices that will have profound changes on your well-being.
To practice a proper oral care routine, you should:
- Use an electric brush or if this option is not possible, a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your enamel
- Brush twice a day for 2 minutes in each session, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gumline and clean each surface of your teeth
- Floss at least once a day, preferably after dinner using a flossing device or floss
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride to help keep your teeth healthy
- Rinse using mouthwash or an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing
Monitor Your Diet
Your diet is very important for your oral health. The foods you eat can contribute to bacterial growth and potentially lead to cavities, gum disease, and other conditions.
Steps to choose a healthier diet may include:
- Avoid excessive sugary or acidic foods and beverages. If not possible, rise with water after consumption
- Have set mealtimes and reduce snacking between meals
- Try to eat fruits, vegetables, and other items packed with nutrients
- Consume milk or dairy products to increase saliva production that will help to alleviate dry mouth
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly, especially before bed
Have Regular Dental Visits
Visit your dentist or dental professional at least twice a year or every six months. The best way to stop oral issues getting out of hands is early detection and treatment. Your dentist will be able to monitor your oral health and ensure that no dental issues go unnoticed or worsen to something more serious.
When you visit your dentist, you can:
- Ask for advice on your diet to ensure enough vitamins and nutrients to keep your teeth strong
- Discuss if any over the counter or prescription medications you are taking that may cause dry mouth or decreased saliva production
The new year is also the perfect time to complete dental restorations or orthodontics. Your dentist can recommend the appropriate restoration to potentially treat the underlying cause of your oral issue, prevent future problems, and improve your smile’s appearance at the same time!
The Don’t of 2022
In addition to resolutions to improve your oral health, you should consider avoiding or quitting the below:
- Smoking or tobacco products
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Using teeth as tools
- Using over the counter teeth whitening products
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be complicated. Making a New Year’s resolution to enhance your health is a great choice no matter how you look at it. So why not start the year with some easy-to-achieve oral heath resolutions that will improve your oral health and the appearance of your smile?
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