6 Dental Habits to Start in the New Year

dental habits to start in the new year

dental habits to start in the new yearSan Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

The beginning of a new year means new beginnings and letting go of bad or unhelpful habits. Improving health has been one of the top contenders on nearly everyone’s resolutions list, and it’s probably not going to lose its footing anytime soon. This year, as we enter not only a new year but a new decade, resolve to implement these six dental habits to not only improve your health but your teeth and gums as well!

  1. Brush twice a day

Everyone should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. The American Dental Association recommends this guideline for all ages. Even infants should have their gums wiped clean twice a day using a warm washcloth. And, oral hygiene is something that should continue for your entire life. It should be as sure as paying taxes (April 15th will be here before we know it!). If you really want to up your oral hygiene game, aim to brush three times a day, working in that extra brushing session after lunch.

  1. Floss every day

Most people have the brushing their teeth part down pat, but many aren’t flossing. And, we aren’t referring to that funny dance that nearly broke the Internet. Instead, we are talking about flossing your teeth. Flossing removes bacteria and food debris from between your teeth. Skipping this step in your routine means that you’re really only cleaning about two-thirds of your tooth’s surfaces. It’d be like washing only part of your body! For what it’s worth, flossing helps prevent tooth decay between teeth, and gum disease, which has been linked to causing a host of health issues from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, to certain types of cancer and dementia. So, do your teeth, and your health a favor, and floss every night before bed.

  1. Use the right oral hygiene tools

Stroll down any oral hygiene aisle, and you will see a plethora of products. You haven’t been so confused since you tried to figure out the math printed on packages of toilet paper. Choose a toothbrush best suited for your oral care needs, and for most people, that would mean using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, be sure to change out your toothbrush once every three months or after a bout of sickness. As far as the other tools, choose fluoridated toothpaste, and if you like using a mouth rinse, go with one that isn’t alcohol-based.

  1. Clean your tongue

Remembering to brush your teeth is one thing, but also clean your tongue. It harbors a lot of bacteria and particles responsible for bad breath. You could use your toothbrush to scrub your tongue each time that you brush, or there are specially designed brushes and tongue scrapers that work just as well.

  1. Follow through with your six-month cleanings

The are several reasons for these visits:

  1. To clean tartar buildup (the building block of tooth decay and gum disease) from your teeth
  2. To maintain your oral hygiene
  3. To address changes in your oral health

If you’re going in for your routine checkups and cleanings, the dentist is going to find any cavities or oral health concerns as soon as they arise, before they turn into a costly or extensive dental repair. Therefore, don’t skip these appointments! Doing so only costs you more in the long run.

  1. Get dental x-rays once a year

Dental x-rays aren’t a money-making gimmick. The purpose of dental x-rays is to provide a view between your teeth and below the gum line. Not all dental problems happen where you can see it, so x-rays are a great way to stay on top of changes with your oral health.

It’s the start of a new year and a new decade. Resolve to take better care of your oral health by following these helpful tips from your Bay Area general dentists at Glen Park Dental. If you are new to the area or are looking for a new dentist, we accept new patients. To learn more or to schedule your appointment, contact our office by calling (415) 585-1500. We welcome patients of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco.