It’s that time of year. Time to set your New Year’s resolutions and determine how you will work to be a better, healthier version of yourself in 2022. Typically, people’s resolutions focus on their physical health – such as exercise more or eat healthier. But there is great value in setting New Year’s resolutions around your dental health.
New Year Resolutions that involve your oral health.
10. Keep your regular dentist appointments
There are many reasons people miss a dentist appointment, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. One appointment can quickly turn into two and then it’s been a year and a half since you’ve been to the dentist. A lot can happen in this time, which is why it’s important to keep your regular dentist appointments. If there’s one easy New Year’s resolution you can make to have healthy teeth in 2022, it’s to keep these appointments.
9. Drink more water
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine women should drink 3.7 liters of water per day and men should drink 2.7 liters of water per day. Not drinking enough water throughout the day can keep you from having healthy teeth. If you’re in a dehydrated state, it changes the consistency of your saliva and creates an environment where cavities thrive. The new year is a great time to start drinking more water.
8. Quit tobacco
If you are a smoker, or chew tobacco of any kind, a good New Year’s resolution is to quit. If your goal is to get to 100 with all of your teeth, smoking will make that much harder. Cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco destroy your teeth and gum tissue and directly affect the longevity of your teeth. Using tobacco is also a strong indicator that you will get oral cancer. Make 2022 the year you quit once and for all and put your health first.
7. Upgrade your toothbrush
If you’re still using a manual toothbrush, consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush in the new year. Most dentists recommend the Sonicare, which is my personal recommendation as well. There are also several other options, such as the Oral B and Quip. The vibrations and movements of these brushes will greatly improve your oral health and take all of the guesswork out of brushing to help maintain healthy teeth and healthy gums.
6. Eat better
We all know people try to improve their diet starting day one of the new year – especially after consuming all those delicious holiday treats. Did you know that foods that are high in acid, such as citrus and tomato based foods, can eat away at your enamel? Your teeth only have so much enamel which needs to last a lifetime. People who have an acidic diet will eventually require cosmetic dentistry to replace the missing enamel with porcelain.
5. Stop using your teeth as a tool
I see lots of people who have enamel wear from using their teeth as a tool – from opening packages, to holding pencils or glasses, or chewing ice. Your teeth were not designed to do these things. When you bite down on things other than food, or use your teeth for things you shouldn’t, you’ll slowly start to chip away at your enamel and negatively affect the silhouette of your smile. Set your New Year’s resolution to only use your teeth to chew food.
4. Exercise more
You might be wondering how this one will help you have healthy teeth and healthy gums. In my years as a dentist, I’ve noticed that at any time there’s 10% of the population that’s ready for a change. These are people who are ready to lose weight, or ready to change their smile. A lot of times, as they pick up momentum in one area they’ll make positive changes in the rest of their life. If you want to feel better about yourself, start exercising and see what other positive changes follow.
3. Listen to your body
When it comes to your health, being attuned to your body is important. I’ll see people who say “it’s probably nothing, but I wanted you to check this out.” Those people typically address problems early, which results in more predictable, less invasive and less costly treatments. On the other hand, there are people who ignore a problem until it’s causing them pain. At which point, they require emergency dental care. In the new year, set an intention to start listening to your body and take action when something seems off.
2. Check in on your treatment plan
If you’ve been working with your dentist on an comprehensive treatment plan, the new year is a great time to check in and see where you are. Maybe you’ve completed all your A and B priorities and it’s time to start working on the C priorities. Making a plan for the new year will allow you to take control and be proactive with your dental health.
1. Smile more
This last one is a great New Year’s resolution for all people – smile more. It’s shocking how different your interactions with people will be if you just smile. If you’ve made changes to your smile in the last year, you have a lot to be proud of. Show off your smile and see how the chemistry changes between you and the people you interact with. If you’re embarrassed by your smile, make 2022 the year that you make a positive change with cosmetic dentistry.
This year, focus on healthy teeth…
If you’re looking to set a New Year’s resolution, these are just a few things to chew on. Let this year be the year that your make your dental health a priority and start showing off your smile.
Looking to make a change and improve your smile? Schedule an appointment with our dentist office in Brandon, FL. We’ll be happy to go over your treatment needs and establish a plan that works for you.