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New Year, New Dental Resolutions

Why bother setting New Year’s resolutions? That may sound pessimistic but this is a legitimate question I asked myself this year. I, like many others, have a laundry list of goals I want to accomplish. As I sat there, staring at my list, I had a rare moment of honest self-reflection. Which of these goals were truly feasible? How might I adjust them to increase my likelihood of success? You’ve probably asked yourself similar questions, so please indulge me as I share my little snippet of wisdom. 

Firstly, I decided to make my goals more realistic. If I haven’t gone to the gym in months, chances are my goal to go to the gym five to six times a week would set me up for failure. Committing to exercise three times a week feels both more practical and attainable. Secondly, I wanted to establish the “why” behind my goals. If I’m firmly rooted in why I want to do something, then it’s easier to maintain motivation and focus long-term. So, how does that apply to our teeth?

If you don’t have any resolutions to take better care of your teeth this year, you should. Your oral health plays a key role in your overall health, meaning if you’re making plans to eat better or exercise more, you should be making plans to brush and floss your teeth more. So, let’s dive into how to set realistic dental health resolutions, what that might look like, and the why behind those resolutions.

Floss Consistently 

In ideal circumstances, everyone would brush and floss their teeth morning and night. However, as I mentioned earlier, if you currently floss once a week, trying to make the leap to flossing twice daily might be too big of a stretch. We would suggest setting the goal to floss at least once a day. If you’re already brushing your teeth morning and night, adding one extra task to your dental routine should feel manageable. 

As someone who has always struggled to floss, understanding why we floss is critical to maintaining motivation and establishing a good habit. I, like many others, have been told by my dentist several times that I need to floss more. The unfortunate truth is that even though I faithfully brush my teeth morning and night, I still show up to the dentist with cavities. It’s incredibly frustrating but the reality is that I’m going to keep getting cavities unless I commit to consistent flossing. Flossing allows us to remove plaque and bacteria from hard-to-reach places in-between our teeth. If we’re not flossing we’re more susceptible to tooth decay and that unremoved plaque builds up and becomes tartar. Flossing is as important to dental health as exercise is to physical health. So if you need some extra motivation to improve your flossing habits, try investing in a Slate Electric Flosser. A high-quality, sleek new dental tool might be just what you need to launch a new habit. Afterall, didn’t you just buy new workout clothes?

If you have the desire but struggle with the consistency aspect of flossing, try these tips.

  1. Make it Obvious: Keep your flosser someplace visible, like next to your toothbrush or on your bathroom counter.
  2. Make it Easy: The Slate Flosser takes less than two minutes and keeps your hands out of your mouth, unlike traditional floss.
  3. Make it Attractive: Having healthy teeth and fresh breath is a sure-fire way to feel more confident this year.
  4. Make it Satisfying: Flossing is how you can achieve that super-clean post-dentist feeling. We want your teeth to be Slate clean.

Visit the Dentist Semi-Annually

Semi-annual visits to the dentist should be a non-negotiable. Not only is it important maintenance for your smile but it’s a great opportunity to ask questions about teeth. Making dental visits a consistent part of your life can also help remove some of the fear that surrounds going to the dentist. Heading in for a cleaning can be especially intimidating if you haven’t been to the dentist in years and are anticipating bad news. Relieve yourself of some of that pressure by making dental visits a regular part of your life and self care.

The why behind semi-annual dentist appointments may seem obvious but it goes beyond filling cavities and preventing gum disease. If you’re not flossing as often as you should, your plaque turns into tartar and once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. The longer it sits there, the worse it gets. So if you’re struggling to maintain a good dental routine you should be even more committed to getting into that dentist’s chair. 

Add Something New to Your Routine

If you’re really looking to level-up your oral health then it might be time to introduce something new into the line-up. If you own or plan to buy a Slate Electric Flosser, scraping your tongue everyday is a great dental resolution. Even after brushing and flossing, a significant amount of bacteria remains sitting on your tongue. Think about it, the food, debris, and plaque that was just disrupted by your toothbrush and flosser could still be sitting inside your mouth. It just changed locations. Using a tongue scraper is a simple and effective way to rid your mouth of even more gunk.

If you’d rather add something that leaves your mouth feeling minty-fresh, try incorporating a mouthwash into your morning routine. Our favorite is Carifree. The added boost of fluoride is great for long-term oral health and it’s sure to reach any place you might have missed with your toothbrush or flosser. Be sure to stay away from any alcohol-based mouthwashes. They can kill good bacteria and set your microbiome back to zero. 

At the end of the day, the best resolutions are the ones we stick to. So take some time to evaluate what’s realistic for you and your life. Make some practical resolutions and try each day to keep them. Here at Slate, we hope 2024 will be the year that you invest in a happy healthy smile.