By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
The link between oral health and overall health and systemic disease is real. If you aren’t sure which dental health resolutions to focus on, here’s a list of 10 dental health resolutions to help you kickstart your dental health journey in 2024:
1. Minimally, Brush 2x and Floss 1x Per Day
Develop a consistent oral hygiene routine by brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once daily. It’s important to brush first thing in the morning to remove any plaque that may have built up overnight, while brushing right before bed removes any food particles or debris that accumulated throughout the day. Flossing helps reach areas between teeth that brushing alone may miss, and is the most effective way to prevent gingivitis and gum disease.
2. Schedule Regular Recare Appointments
Make a commitment to attend regular dental check-ups and cleanings, which should be scheduled at your personalized and recommended interval. For some patients this means every 3 months, for some this means every six months. These appointments allow Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert to monitor your oral health, identify potential issues early on like decay and periodontal disease, and for your favorite hygienist to provide a professional cleaning to remove plaque and calculus buildup. At these appointments we also provide an oral cancer screening as well as look at your bite, and any airway issues. If you don’t yet have your next recare appointment scheduled, make sure to call Eggert Family Dentistry and schedule your appointment today!
3. Address Any Dental Problems
Stop putting your dental problems on the backburner! If you experience any pain, sensitivity, or notice changes in your bite, schedule an appointment at Eggert Family Dentistry as soon as possible. Early intervention can prevent more expensive treatments in the future. Many patients think that they can put these conversations off until their next recare appointment. This can work occasionally, but be sure to call and we will ask you a series of questions and bring your case to the attention of Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth to determine if you should be seen right away.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Everyone knows that drinking enough water is good for your overall health, but did you know that staying hydrated improves your dental health as well? Water helps flush away food particles, bacteria, and acids, which leaves your mouth cleaner and healthier. Staying adequately hydrated will also decrease the acidity of your saliva, which can keep your teeth protected from decay. It is also important to note that REGULAR water is not the same as bubbly water. Bubbly water may be popular, but it is not as hydrating and it is full of acid, which is damaging for the teeth.
5. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking not only benefits your overall health but also significantly improves your oral health. Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancers. Eggert Family Dentistry is committed to helping you find the support and resources to quit smoking for a healthier mouth and body.
6. Don’t Use Your Teeth as a Tool
Do you use your teeth to open packages and water bottles? How about chewing on your nails or hangnails? There’s no faster way to chip and crack your front teeth! Get yourself a nice pair of scissors and a nail clipper and save yourself an unexpected trip to our office.
7. Upgrade Your Toothbrush
In 2024, consider investing in an electric toothbrush with sonic bristle technology, like a Sonicare. These toothbrushes are much more effective at removing plaque compared to manual ones. Additionally, many ultrasonic toothbrushes come with timers to ensure you brush for the recommended two minutes.
8. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Regularly replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed or if you have been sick. A worn-out toothbrush is less effective at cleaning your teeth and may carry more bacteria.
9. Cut Back on Sugar
Make this your year to cut back on sugary foods, candies, and beverages. Sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth that make up plaque, and when these bacteria eat sugar, they produce acids that destroy tooth enamel. This results in cavities and tooth decay, and can ultimately contribute to tooth loss. To avoid this, opt for healthier snacks and beverages and be mindful of hidden sugars in processed foods. Unfortunately, our American diet has a lot of hidden sugar!
10. Eat a Diet That Includes Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for strong teeth and bones. Include foods like dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and lean proteins to promote overall oral health. Most importantly, avoid excessive acidic foods that can erode enamel. Your teeth only have so much enamel, which needs to last a lifetime!
Remember Your Oral Health in Your New Years’ Resolutions! Eggert Family Dentistry Can Help!
With all the connections between oral health to overall health, set your resolutions to remember your teeth and gums. Invest your time with regular home care, good nutrition, as well as regular recare visits with Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert at Eggert Family Dentistry. Call us at 651.482.8412 to schedule your next appointment. We can’t wait to see you soon!