It goes without saying that this has been one of the most challenging (and unexpected) years we’ve had to date. From a global pandemic to forest fires to everything in between, we all deserve a reason to smile as 2020 comes to a close. And as orthodontists in San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe, you know nothing makes us smile more than taking care of our patients’ teeth! For the team at Dr. Melanie Orthodontics, there’s no better way to kick off the new year than by renewing your commitment to your oral health.
As we get closer to putting this year behind us and ringing in 2021, here are our favorite resolutions for the new year with a happy, healthy, and new smile, and tips on how to stick with them!
- Visit Your General Dentist Twice a Year
Did you go to the dentist twice this past year? If not, you’re not alone. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), only 52% of adults report visiting their dentist once every six months, which is how often the ADA recommends for most healthy adults. In fact, a whopping 21% report not seeing their dentist in several years!
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dentistry, regular dental appointments are one of the best ways to ensure lifelong oral health. During these visits, your dentist can assess, diagnose, and treat existing oral health issues, and even prevent further problems from starting. Routine check-ups and cleanings are about more than polishing up your pearly whites — it’s about setting you up for better health overall. If you’re the type to forget when you’re supposed to see your dentist, try pre-booking your appointments six months apart so that you always have something on the books.
- Floss Every Single Day
Maybe you tell your dentist or orthodontist that you’re super diligent about flossing, but are you really flossing your teeth every day? Flossing is one of those necessary but somewhat inconvenient tasks that no one likes to do, kind of like taking out the garbage or vacuuming the house. But just like the benefits of flossing are significant, so are the effects of not flossing.
Food debris and bacteria love to hide in hard-to-reach places in your mouth that brushing alone can’t access. When those particles have a chance to sit in all those nooks and crannies, it leads to harmful build-up of plaque and puts you at risk for tooth decay. Flossing allows you to get into those small spaces and clear out the gunk, reducing your risk of periodontal disease and keeping your smile as healthy as possible. So as annoying as flossing might be, trust your dentist when they say that it’s totally worth it.
- Stick to Smile-Friendly Foods
For many people, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to get a new smile by start getting into healthier routines, whether that’s exercising more often or eating a more nutritious diet. We’re all for it, especially since healthy eating in particular can have a big impact on your teeth. In fact, your diet and dental health are inextricably linked. What you eat has a direct effect on the health of your smile, so it’s important to choose tooth-healthy foods and avoid things that can cause lasting damage.
Unsurprisingly, the foods that are good for your teeth are beneficial to your health overall — and vice versa. Sugary and acidic foods (like sodas, candies or fruity drinks) contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, and they just aren’t good for you in general. Fortunately, by avoiding these foods and drinks, you can prevent problems from happening in the first place. Instead, stick to whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Healthy body, healthy teeth, healthy you.
- Drink Plenty of Water
We all know that water is a hallmark of any healthy lifestyle, but did you know that drinking water is also incredibly good for your teeth? In most of California, fluoride is added to our water supply. Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter” because it strengthens your teeth and helps to prevent tooth decay. Water also whisks away food particles after eating, reducing plaque and bacteria build-up, eliminating bad breath, and ultimately lowering your risk of periodontal disease.
Finally, when your mouth gets too dry or you don’t produce enough saliva, bacteria thrive. Drinking water prevents dry mouth, naturally inhibiting bacteria production and improving your overall oral health. So if you want to keep your teeth healthy this coming new year, make sure to get your recommended 10 to 16 cups of water per day!
- Book a Consultation with an Orthodontist
Have you been thinking about straightening your teeth for a while? Worried it’ll take too long or cost too much money? Think that straightening your teeth is purely cosmetic? You’re not alone: many people put off orthodontic treatment for a number of reasons, but we want you to know that your new dream smile can be within reach as the new year is coming around the corner.
At Dr. Melanie Orthodontics, we believe that everyone deserves a straight, healthy smile they love. And orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign can not only give you the straight smile you’ve always dreamed of — it can also benefit your health overall and improve your self-confidence.
As the saying goes: new year, new you. If you’ve been dreaming about straightening your teeth, make 2021 the new year you finally invest in your new smile. Contact Dr. Melanie Orthodontics to book a complimentary consultation and discuss your options today.