What do you hope to accomplish in 2022? Many people are focusing on their fitness or their career for their New Year’s resolutions. Such goals are certainly worthwhile, but it would also be a good idea to think about how you can look after your oral health. Let’s talk about a few goals you can set that will help you care well for your smile during the upcoming year.
Visit Your Dentist
In 2019, approximately 65% of adults visited their dentist at least once. However, experts agree that at least two visits each year is ideal. Preventive appointments reduce your risk of cavities and give your dentist the opportunity to spot problems while they are still in their early stages, before they pose a serious threat to your smile. In 2022, try to schedule a visit near the beginning of the year and another in the summer. You’ll be glad you did!
According to one estimate, a mere 30% of people floss their teeth daily. If you are in the other 70%, now is the perfect time to improve your habits. Flossing cleans the tight spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach — it plays a huge role in removing plaque and preventing cavities. If you are unsure of how to floss, ask your hygienist for tips on which products to use and on proper techniques.
Cut Back on Sugar
When bacteria in your mouth interact with sugar, plaque accumulates on your teeth, increasing your risk of decay. Cutting back on sugar in 2022 is an excellent goal! You don’t have to go cold turkey on sugar. It’s fine to enjoy an occasional treat, but always strive for moderation. It’s also smart to watch out for hidden sugars in foods that are advertised as being healthy, such as sports drinks and flavored yogurt.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
Saliva plays a key role in cleaning your mouth and keeping your teeth strong. When your mouth dries out, you are at an increased risk of bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. Sipping plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum, and always breathing through your nose are a few ways to reduce your risk of dry mouth. If some of your medications have dry mouth as a side effect, ask your primary care practitioner if there is another medication you can use that would be easier on your oral health.
Quit Tobacco Products
Smoking and chewing tobacco are some of the worst things you can do for oral health. They increase your risk of cancer, bad breath, gum disease, and more. Every effort you make to quit will be well worth it! Your primary care practitioner or dentist might be able to provide some practical suggestions and resources on how you can win your battle against tobacco.
What are your goals for 2022? Adjusting some of your oral care habits will help you to maintain a healthy smile into the new year and beyond.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Erick Anderson has been serving patients for decades. He is a native of Colorado Springs who is proud to share his expertise with his community. Preventive, restorative, and cosmetic care are all available in his office. To learn more about him and the services he offers, contact us at 719-593-0988.