Here are a few easy and healthy New Year resolutions that you can consider making for a set of healthy teeth! I will:
1) Follow the rule of 2-2-2
- Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, for at least 2 minutes each and visit a dentist 2 times a year.
- Time yourself while brushing your ‘usual way’. For many people, brushing is second-nature and we do not realize how we breeze through the task. Make a conscious effort to clean all surfaces thoroughly.
- Daily brushing will help to keep teeth clean and prevent plaque from accumulating.
- As plaque that is hardened (tartar) cannot be removed by regular toothbrushing, professional cleaning by a dentist is required.
2) Brush my teeth correctly
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush softly instead of scrubbing it hard as if you were cleaning your toilet floor. When brushing too hard, it can damage our teeth and gums.
- Practice using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth instead, the pressure should be just nice.
- Brush your tongue as there is also bacteria on it which leads to bad breath and even tooth damage.
3) Floss instead of using a toothpick to get food out
- Toothpicks are more likely to damage one’s gums than floss.
- With it being small and handy, it is convenient to keep a set of floss in your bag/office.
- If you are regularly getting food stuck in between your teeth, it is important to see a dentist to find out the real reason. It may be due to fillings that are not shaped properly, teeth that have shifted or there is a hole in the tooth. When these problems are not rectified, especially the last one, it can lead to greater problems such as decay.
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque trapped in between your teeth
4) Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months
- Or when the bristles are frayed, whichever happens first.
- Bristles become frayed and worn over time, making them less effective at cleaning and potentially more damaging to the teeth. In addition, broken bristles are havens for bacteria.
5) Stop using my teeth as tools
- Reach out for the bottle opener or scissors instead of using your teeth.
- When we use our teeth as tools, we put ourselves at a higher risk of cracking our teeth, injuring our jaw or accidentally swallowing something.
6) Not chew on ice cubes
- This is to prevent our tooth or filling from breaking.
- Drink chilled beverages without ice or use a straw to prevent yourself from being tempted to chew ice.
7) Eat a healthy diet
- Eat crunchy foods like apple, celery and carrot. These firm foods contain lots of water and require chewing – making it good for oral health because they stimulate the flow of saliva and can actually scrub tooth surfaces.
- For fruits and vegetables, eat them in whole instead of drinking juices.
- Cheese and yogurt are foods rich in calcium and phosphorus. These can protect tooth enamel and even help replace minerals in teeth.
- Reduce consumption of sweet and acidic food and drinks.
8) Rinse my mouth with water regularly
- When drinking acidic drinks such as wine, coffee or tea, remember to swish your mouth with water to reduce staining and acid attack.
- Rinse with your mouth with tap water after your meals and wait for 30 to 45 minutes before brushing your teeth.
9) Quit smoking
- Get healthier gums when you quit the stick!
- It also increases your chance of keeping your teeth even at old age. With good oral care, it is possible to have a full set of teeth even when you are 70 or 80!
By practicing good oral hygiene every day, you’re making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future, too.