New Year, New Smile

Smiling woman For many, a new year comes with new resolutions. And why not? A new year is a great time to create resolutions—especially those that can improve your health. For brace wearers, one of those resolutions should be to start making better oral hygiene decisions. Here are a few suggestions to help you reach your goal for a healthy new year.

Brush and Floss

One of the easiest, and most obvious, ways to improve your oral hygiene is daily brushing and flossing. To remove bacterial plaque, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes and floss once per day. And when brushing, be sure to use fluoridated toothpaste and an appropriately sized toothbrush. Proper daily brushing and flossing can help prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Healthier Eating

Another important way to improve oral hygiene is making healthier food and beverage choices. Brace wearers should always avoid sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy and hard or crunchy foods like popcorn and pretzels. But keep in mind that other foods and beverages loaded with carbs and acids increase the chances of tooth decay. If you are going to consume those types of items, be sure to brush your teeth after consuming them.

Say No to Tobacco

If you’re a smoker or if you use smokeless tobacco, quitting could significantly improve your oral hygiene and overall health in general.

Schedule Dental Visits

Routine visits to the dentist can help prevent oral disease and even catch existing problems early before they become a big problem. Dental appointments should occur every six months. These timeframes allow your dentist and hygienists to best monitor your oral health and create your specific oral health care plan. And if you’ve been putting off dental work needed—such as crowns, implants, or fillings—going ahead and scheduling these required procedures now could significantly improve your oral health.

Even if you don’t currently wear braces, anyone can make a new year’s resolution to improve your oral hygiene. And if you’ve been thinking about getting braces, there’s no better time than 2017 to take the leap. If you do, you’ll be enjoying a bright new smile in 2018!