Above all other New Year’s Eve Resolutions, you should make sure your smile comes first. Here’s why.
With every new year comes a long string of goals we set for ourselves. While most of us tend to focus on familiar New Year’s Eve resolutions — sticking to an exercise routine, eating more veggies, getting our finances in order — there’s one important goal that many of us never consider: a healthier smile.
A healthy smile is much more than white teeth. In many instances, the health of our teeth and gums directly correlates to the rest of our bodies. According to the Mayo Clinic1, poor oral health may be linked to to a number of seemingly unrelated issues, including endocarditis (an infection of the heart's lining), cardiovascular disease, and premature birth and low birth rate in pregnant women. Conversely, health issues like diabetes and osteoporosis might also put teeth and gums at risk.
Not only is a healthy smile important to our overall wellness, it affects how others perceive us. Recent studies have concluded that a nice smile can both make a positive first impression2 , and increase how attractive we are to others.
If you’re considering adding “improving my smile” to your list of New Year’s Resolutions, here are a few simple ways to get started!
Simple Ways to Improve Your Oral Health in 2019
Schedule Two Dentist Appointments for the Calendar Year (Don’t Be Afraid!)
Consistent cleanings are vital3 to oral health. Your dentist will4 take care of cavities before they get worse, and treat infections that could cause damage to the rest of your health. If you haven’t been in a dental office in a long time, don’t worry. Dentists are used to seeing teeth in all conditions, and you certainly aren’t the first person who has ever started a check-up with “so, I haven’t been to see you in about two years…”
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day (Really!)
In addition to having your dentist take care of plaque buildup and bigger issues, brushing your teeth two times a day5 for two minutes is the best way to maintain stellar oral health. For proper brushing technique6 , hold your brush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line, use small circular motions on the outside and backside of teeth, and back-and-forth motions on the large molar surfaces. Replace your toothbrush or electric brush head every three months, and use a top-rated toothpaste, like Aquafresh Extreme Clean (which comes with sugar acid protection and micro active bubbles). Of course, a great toothpaste and brushing technique can only benefit you if you truly brush twice a day, so make it a point to do it, even if you feel like falling into bed or rushing out the door instead.
Learn How to Floss (It’s a Skill)
If you’re reading this and thinking, “how hard is it to pull a string through some teeth?!”, the American Dental Association has a step-by-step guide7 that proves there’s a little more to it. And considering the fact that in one 2017 study8 , only 16 percent of participants indicated they floss at least once a day while 8 percent admit they never floss, it’s highly likely that most of us could some improvement in this area!
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Here’s the cold, hard, truth: Americans, as a whole, are eating too much sugar , and that sugar consumption is associated with a variety of diseases, including periodontal disease . Even if you brush with a toothpaste like Aquafresh, cutting your daily sugar intake is extremely beneficial from both a waistline, and a smile perspective!