9 New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy 2023 for Your Teeth and Gums

9 New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy 2023 for Your Teeth and Gums

The new year is a good time to take stock of your life and make resolutions. While many people focus on (short-lived) resolutions to lose weight or exercise more, there’s one big category that almost everyone ignores: healthy teeth and gums.

At Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Leesburg, Virginia, Dr. Haidy MessihDr. Basma Armanious, and our staff want you to make 2023 the year to focus on your oral health. To that end, here are nine great resolutions you can adopt to ensure your teeth and gums are the best they can be.

9 New Year’s resolutions for healthy teeth and gums

Some of these resolutions are probably things you’ve heard time and again from your dentist, but others may surprise you.

1. Brush twice a day — the right way

You’ve heard your dentist say it over and over: Brush your teeth twice a day, every day. But, doing a poor job of brushing is almost as bad as not brushing at all, because unremoved plaque hardens, leading to tartar buildup and gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.

Take your time, spending at least 30 seconds in each quadrant and moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions across your teeth and gums.

2. Don’t forget about your tongue

Plaque doesn’t only build up on your teeth and gums; it can also build up on your tongue. This provides another opportunity for bacteria to cause tooth decay and gum disease, and it can give your mouth a bad odor.

Every time you brush, gently brush your tongue, too. Or better yet, get a flexible tongue scraper. Just one or two passes, and you’re good to go.

3. Use products with fluoride

When choosing a toothpaste or a mouth rinse, make sure it’s fluoridated. Yes, you do get some fluoride in your drinking water, but it’s not enough to strengthen your teeth all on its own. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste ensures you’re able to help remineralize all your teeth and keep them strong. Look for the American Dental (ADA) Seal of Approval to ensure you’re getting the right product.

4. Floss your teeth at least once a day

Brushing is great, but it can’t get at all the trapped food particles and plaque trapped between your teeth. Using a long piece of clean floss in between teeth can greatly improve your results.

5. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse

More than just freshening your breath, a mouth rinse helps in three ways: It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, it cleans hard-to-brush-and-floss areas in and around the gums, and the added fluoride remineralizes the teeth.

Ask your dentist for specific mouth rinse recommendations. Some brands are best for children, and others for those with sensitive teeth. There are even prescription-strength versions available.

6. Drink water

Yes, you need to stay hydrated, but water does much more than that for your oral health. Drinking water after every meal helps wash away some of the acid and debris, and on the bright side, it prevents food and drinks from staining your teeth.

7. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables

Your doctor probably tells you to eat fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet, but they’re important for your oral health as well. Your jaw bone is stimulated by bite pressure, so the more you chew, the stronger your bone—which holds your teeth in place—will be.

In addition, fruits and vegetables with high water content can serve some of the same functions as drinking water.

8. Limit your amount of sugary and acidic foods and drinks

Sure, sugar tastes good, and a bit of acidity tingles the taste buds. However, sugar allows bacteria to feast and produce acid, which can then erode your tooth enamel and lead to cavities. And acid doesn’t only come from citrus; tea and coffee contain acids, too. You don’t have to avoid these consumables completely; just eat and drink in moderation and rinse your mouth out afterward.

9. See your dentist twice a year

You’ve probably heard this one a lot, too, but it’s really important. Not only does nothing beat a professional cleaning, but your dentist also checks your mouth for cavities and decay, gum disease, and even cancerous lesions each time. That allows them to catch problems early on, when they’re easier to treat.

Are you resolved to make your oral health a priority in 2023? Want more tips? Contact Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry by calling us at 703-952-7332 or by booking online with one of our dentists today.

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