Check your Teeth Care Routine

by Dr. Anson Hooper, DDS, Hooper Family Dental

One of the things I do with my wife and girls at the beginning of every year is sit down and set some obtainable goals for the coming year. It helps create focus and purpose to our lives.

Several years back we helped my girls each set goals in their lives; one was to stop sucking her thumb and the other to stop wearing pull ups at night. Though to some these seem like easy feats, to a 4 and 5 year old they began the year thinking it was hopeless. With a little help from my wife and me, by April they had both achieved their goals!

By setting a goal, sticking to it and enlisting help and accountability from those close to us, we can accomplish our objectives. Here are three dental areas you may want to add to your list of resolutions this year:

Your brushing routine

  • Trade out that old manual brush you’ve used for the last year for an electric one. One of the most dramatic changes we see in our patient’s home care is when they switch to an electric brush!
  • Set a timer and brush for 2 minutes at least twice a day.

Your flossing routine

  • Make a point to floss. If you skip this part, try changing this habit, floss at least twice a day.
  • Choose a new floss. Does your choice of floss make it difficult? Try a new floss for the new year. I recommend Glide floss, it’s thin, durable and comes in different flavors. A Waterpik can also be a good alternative.
  • Purse-sized or trial-sized packets of floss can make it convenient to floss at work, on a night out or anywhere else you go. This makes it easier to stick to your resolution.

Your eating, drinking routine

New Year’s eating resolutions don’t have to revolve around diets and weight loss. For your dental health:

  • Limit coffee, tea and soda intake. These drinks can stain your teeth and can erode enamel. Limit these picks or swap them for water.
  • Eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium builds bone and tooth strength. Integrate dairy products; salmon, dark leafy greens and almonds also are high in calcium.
  • Increase vitamin C intake. This vitamin contributes to gum health. Add oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, spinach and even some peppers into your diet.