With every new year we have lots of traditions big and small that we follow around the world. One of the most common traditions is the new year’s resolution. People always try to reinvent themselves or change some habits with the turning of the calendar and health related resolutions are one of the most popular that people make.
While it can be difficult to make major, sweeping changes in your life, it’s never too late to make small, meaningful changes to your health. One area that can be beneficial for your health and your wallet is in oral health. Here are some habits that you need to leave behind and some habits you need to pick up in 2021.
5 Oral Health Habits to Drop in 2021
- Quit Tobacco – We know how often this makes it into every list, but smoking, dipping, or vaping is one of the worst things you can do for your oral and overall health. From stains and bad breath to gum disease and oral cancer, tobacco has the potential to destroy your oral health
- Sugary Drinks and Soda – Sugar encourages the buildup of plaque on your teeth leading to cavities and gum disease. The new year is a great time to quit or reduce your soda and sugary drink intake.
- Nail Biting – Nail biting can have an impact on your teeth and overall health. Like grinding your teeth, nail biting can cause wear and tear along with the impact of the bacteria from your fingers getting into your mouth.
- Opening Bottles with Your Teeth – This is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your teeth. Opening a bottle like this can lead to broken teeth, damaged gums, and serious long-term problems.
- Chewing on Ice – While this isn’t as obvious as the rest, chewing on ice can create long term sensitivity because of damage to your enamel. While it isn’t as harmful as a one-off, chewing on ice can be a sign of anemia and can lead to other health concerns.
5 Oral Health Habits to Pick Up in 2021
- Eat More Vegetables – Eating healthier is a good goal to aim for but when it comes to your teeth, eating more vegetables is a great way to help your teeth. Eating raw or steamed vegetables can help you stay away from more harmful foods and encourage oral health.
- Brush and Floss – You knew this one was going to be here. During the pandemic, it can be easy to get out of routine and forget to do the daily things like brushing and flossing. It is critical to your oral health and to prevent more serious (and expensive) issues down the line.
- Get a 6 Month Checkup – While staying healthy and following good habits is critical, most of you are not dental professionals and can’t account for everything. It is vital that you get a cleaning and check up from a dentist twice a year.
- Drink More Water – In addition to dietary and health benefits, drinking more water can help keep your teeth clean and prevent bad breath and gum disease.
- Don’t Brush Too Hard – Sometimes people can over correct bad oral habits and start brushing too hard. Brushing too hard can cause enamel damage over time which can lead to more cavities. Cheap toothbrushes and those with hard bristles can damage your teeth and should be avoided.
It can be hard to handle everything you need to do during these difficult times. Whether it’s taking care of all the chores, work and your family or feeling unhappy with the circumstances of life, it is easy to let your health slip.
Take this opportunity to set some new resolutions for 2021 and drop old, bad habits and pick up some new ones. It is never too late to start taking better care of your teeth and gums and contributing to your bright smile and healthy future.