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Jan 20

Make Oral Health Your Resolution

8333077037_b0e0aa7b4fEvery New Year, many of us make changes that we hope will improve our lives, celebrate moments, or help us be our best selves. Many of those changes– AKA, resolutions– can be big! Lose 50 pounds? Ask for that raise? Sell everything and start a farm? Those can be some pretty life-changing resolutions.

But there’s one resolution that never goes out of style: better health. That’s the resolution to make oral health a priority in 2015 and beyond! So, what does this look like? Well, your dentist in Westminster, CO has some ideas.

1) Buy yourself something a little something

A new toothbrush, to be specific. Did you know that your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months? And if you did– do you follow that advice?

The reason why it is so important to replace our old toothbrushes on a regular basis is a pretty important one: in addition to bristles losing their integrity after a while, bacteria love to live on our toothbrushes. Keeping your toothbrush clean, dry, and replacing the old toothbrush or toothbrush head regularly is another step in reducing harmful oral bacteria.

2) Do the 2×2 challenge

What is that? Brushing twice daily for two minutes. Most Arbor Dental Group patients already follow this rule– at least, part of it. But when timed, few of us actually brush for the two-minute time allotment that we believe we do!

The truth is, all types of brushing are not created equal. Holding your brush at the correct 45 degree angle along the gum line, paying attention to hard-to-reach places, and meeting the two minute minimum requirement are all considered proper brushing technique for one reason: they work. This new year, challenge yourself to be an outstanding toothbrush artist!

3) Flourish with floss

Flossing is a part of our oral hygiene that seems to get a lot less attention, but really it’s quite critical to strong oral health. While many of us consider flossing every “now and then”– twice a week, or even a once a month– as acceptable flossing practices, in reality we should be doing it as often as brushing.

Dental floss removes plaque– and pieces of food– from places that your toothbrush can’t reach. Even more important, it does this at the gum line– right where bacteria prefer to congregate and start cavities. Flossing really hits oral hygiene right on the head! This year, resolve to floss at least once a day, if not more.

4) And for the overachievers out there…

…wait, it’s not possible to overachieve at oral health, is it? We thought not! Some other steps you can take that will really improve your smile in this new year are:

  • Chew an ADA approved gum after meals. Gum stimulates saliva production and cleans teeth of excess food particles.
  • Eat a healthy diet. The less sugary foods and processed carbohydrates you consume, the less your oral bacteria consume, too.
  • Avoid snacking. This will give bacteria less of a steady food supply– and it could even contribute to your other resolutions of getting in shape!
  • Drink water. The fluoride in water strengthens tooth enamel and fights cavities. Plus, drinking water gives your mouth a needed rinse and helps keep the pH on the neutral side.

And finally… remember to schedule your next appointment with your dentist in Westminster CO!

Regular checkups— every six months– are the key to good preventive health. Schedule your next appointment with Arbor Dental Group now, and Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: Thatgirlwhoreads via Compfight cc

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