For many people around the world, the New Year is a time to re-examine our lifestyles and work on incorporating healthy habits into our daily routines. Popular resolutions focus on losing weight, quitting smoking, and saving more money. But while we focus on becoming healthier, better versions of ourselves, many tend to forget about one crucial aspect of health: our teeth.

If your dentist could set your New Year’s resolutions for you, what do you think he or she would say? Read on for some dental care tips and habits that your dentist would love to see you adopt in 2017!

Check your daily dental hygiene routine

According to dentists, in order to practice proper dental hygiene, it’s necessary to brush twice a day and floss once every day. If you’re already in this habit, it’s still a good idea to talk to your dentist about proper technique to ensure that you’re flossing correctly. In addition, rinsing, chewing gum, and using mouthwash after meals are great habits to incorporate into your daily routine to avoid bad oral hygiene.

Replace your toothbrush regularly

To ensure healthy teeth, dentists recommend buying a new toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles are frayed or you’ve been sick recently, you may want to replace it even sooner. As you consult your list of resolutions, think about how old your toothbrush is. If it’s more than a few months, start off the new year with a brand new brush to ensure your commitment to proper dental hygiene!

Avoid habits that hurt your teeth

Even if you’re diligent with your oral hygiene maintenance, it’s likely that you have a few habits that could be hurting your teeth without your knowledge. Many people never consider if something as minor as chewing ice is bad for your teeth, but it actually can put a lot of unnecessary stress on your teeth and cause damage over time. The same goes for chewing popcorn kernels and hard candies, as well as biting your nails!

Be mindful of what you eat and drink

This resolution can dovetail nicely with your weight-loss goals, if you have any — avoiding sugary beverages and foods is a good decision for your overall health! But beware certain foods and beverages like granola bars and sports drinks that may be advertised as healthy options. These products often have just as much sugar as candy and soda.

Address the problems you’ve been ignoring

Do you grind your teeth in your sleep? Have you had a sore molar for a few months? Are your gums more sensitive than usual? Getting treatment for these issues isn’t very fun, but keep in mind that the longer you wait to address them, the worse it will be.

This year, don’t neglect the importance of oral hygiene when you think about the changes you want to adopt over the next 12 months. Make 2017 the year that you commit yourself to good oral hygiene, and follow these dental care tips to take great care of your teeth!

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