At the beginning of the new year, everything feels possible. The sky is the limit when it comes to your goals and aspirations. If you want to improve your oral health this year, we have 5 simple things you can do to help you reach that goal.

1. Get a New Toothbrush

This one is so simple, and often forgotten, but it’s important. Toothbrushes work best when the bristles are fresh. As you use a toothbrush, the bristles wear down and they don’t clean as well as they once did. At first, your mouth will feel less fresh when using a worn-down brush, but the real issues come in the long run. If you aren’t using a toothbrush with fresh bristles, you’re missing areas and leaving things behind which can cause problems. This is an incredibly simple, easy, and inexpensive thing you can do to improve your oral health: refresh your toothbrush every three to fourth months.

2. Schedule Your Next Cleaning

Let’s be honest, we all overate over the holidays and indulged in sugary treats; chances are, we didn’t brush as well as we should. Now is the perfect time to remove all of that excess tartar, plaque, and stain from your teeth. Seeing your freshly-cleaned pearly whites in the mirror is a great reminder to keep on up your oral health and will help you feel fresher. Make your appointment now while you still have the motivation from making your resolutions (because we all know that wains over time).

Even if everything seems fine, it’s important to schedule cleanings every six months. The cleaning itself is important for maintaining your oral health, but the exam allows us to spot problems early and prevent them from becoming bigger problems. At The Silverstrom Group, we use advanced technology that allows us to diagnose potential oral health problems quickly, with unparalleled accuracy. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our page or give us a call.

3. Cut Back on Sugar

Studies have shown that sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. The bacteria that causes plaque can use sugar as energy, allowing them to multiply faster and spread. Some bacteria can even use sugar to create an adhesive making it even harder to be removed by simply brushing your teeth. We are wired to enjoy sugar because it’s a quick source of energy, but it can do a lot of harm to your oral health, as well as your overall physical health.

The first step to cutting back on sugar is becoming aware of how much sugar a particular food or drink contains. Many people don’t realize just how much sugar is packed into a single bottle of soda or sports drink. You don’t have to eliminate these entirely, but moderation is key. Moreover, unfortunately, not all sugar is labeled as “sugar” so look out for ingredients like corn syrup, corn sweetener, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and malt.

There are some very simple additional steps you can take to cut back on your sugar intake. If you chew gum, switch to sugar-free gum. That simple switch decreases your sugar intake while still feeding that sweet craving. You can also switch to non-sugar sweeteners for your coffee, like Stevia. Being aware of your sugar intake and making small changes can work wonders for your oral and physical health.

4. Get Your Bright Smile Back

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you ever think, “My smile doesn’t shine quite as brightly as it used to?” You’re certainly not alone! Eventually, everyone’s teeth begin to lose some of their original luster, becoming increasingly dull and discolored. That doesn’t mean you just have to accept that though.

At The Silverstrom Group, we offer two outstanding solutions: the revolutionary Zoom!® teeth whitening system and the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System. We are able to brighten teeth up to 10 shades in under an hour with the in-office Zoom!® teeth whitening system or up to 16 shades with the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System. Our dentists can also provide custom-made whitening trays as part of a take-home, teeth-whitening kit.

5. Clean Your Tongue

Maybe you’re brushing and flossing twice a day, but are you cleaning your tongue as well? The bacteria on our tongues form a biofilm, or a group of microorganisms, that stick together on the surface of the tongue. These aren’t removed simply by using mouthwash, but your toothbrush or a tongue scraper will do the trick. Don’t get too carried away and overbrush though, you don’t want to break the skin on your tongue.

Some say that cleaning their tongue has improved bad breath, but there is little scientific evidence to support that. That being said, there is no harm in cleaning your tongue. In fact, it can do a lot of good! So, if you like the way your tongue feels when it’s freshly cleaned, you can take pride knowing that you’re taking a small, but important, step towards improving your oral health.