Starting The New Year Right With Proper Dental Care

Implementing good practices for healthy teeth is not difficult, but it does require setting aside some intentional time each day. Practicing good oral hygiene is a critical component of your overall health. As we head into the new year, our dentists at Absolute Dental share these recommendations to promote healthier teeth and gums in 2024.

mother and daughter brushing their teeth together

1. Master the Oral Care Essentials

If your daily dental care hasn’t been a priority, now’s the time to get back on track with these oral care essentials:

  • Flossing. Flossing can sometimes get neglected over brushing, but it’s no less important. Gently floss between your teeth to remove bacteria that your toothbrush can’t reach. Slide floss up and down and around each tooth for best results.
  • Brushing. Most people already brush as a part of their everyday routine, but are you brushing enough? Ideally, you should brush your teeth twice a day1 with fluoride toothpaste for about 2 minutes every morning and evening. A gentle circular motion works best to remove plaque and protect enamel. Be sure to brush your tongue, too!
  • Mouthwash. Adding mouthwash is an additional step you can take to make sure you remove any remaining plaque, bacteria, or food particles hiding in the crevices of your mouth. If you use a mouthwash with added fluoride, it can add an extra layer of protection.
  • Bi-yearly teeth cleanings and exams. Regular dentist cleanings are vital to keeping your natural teeth in the best shape possible and are one of the most important things you can do to prevent tooth decay.

When you neglect these basic oral care steps, it could lead to bacteria buildup, infections, cavities, and more.

Let us help you keep your teeth strong and healthy. Schedule an appointment today!

2. Get Your Kids on Track

Take this opportunity to also build a strong oral hygiene routine for your kids. Getting kids started early with good habits and regular visits to a childrens dentist are great investments in their future! When parents choose good pediatric dentists, it makes a big difference in a child’s dental health and their feelings about going to the dentist as adults.

3. Straighten Your Smile

If you’ve always wanted a straighter smile, there are several convenient and affordable teeth straightening options on the market! With it being easier than ever to get that perfect smile, consider making this your year to achieve that goal with invisible braces, ceramic braces, or metal braces. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about average treatment times and the best option for you.

Also, straight teeth are easier to keep clean2. Uneven teeth can create difficult-to-reach crevices and allow plaque to build up. Additionally, crooked teeth may create unbalanced chewing surfaces, causing an irregular or open bite, and possibly leading to tooth chipping, teeth grinding, or jaw pain.

Have questions about braces? Contact our orthodontists today to set up an appointment.

4. Look Into Teeth Whitening

Practicing good oral hygiene is the first step to great-looking teeth, but sometimes you might find yourself needing something a little more than just whitening toothpastes for whiter teeth.

Professional teeth whitening is an excellent way to brighten your smile by several shades in just one visit to your dentist’s office. Your dentist will monitor your treatment to ensure you get the best results and avoid side effects you may experience with at-home whiteners.

man smiling after getting his teeth whitened at Absolute Dental

5. Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Another way to improve the look of your smile is cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers and dental implants. Both veneers and implants are a natural-looking, functional way to restore damaged or missing teeth. Veneers, in particular, are the perfect option for those looking to correct dental imperfections quickly without waiting months for orthodontic treatment results.

6. Invest in New Tools for Better Dental Care

If you’re looking to step up your oral hygiene routine, there are several tools on the market that can help you do just that. A dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, mini brushes, water flosser, or plaque remover are excellent alternatives to traditional flossing.

Also, an electric toothbrush is a valuable upgrade to the manual toothbrush and is even more effective3 in reducing plaque and treating gingivitis.

young woman with braces using a water flosser

7. Consider Environmental Factors

Dental care usually makes us think of brushing and flossing, but ongoing habits and what we eat and drink significantly impacts our teeth. Here are some things to consider:

  • Water. You keep hearing it repeatedly, but water is good for you, and we all could probably be drinking more of it. It helps keep your body healthy, washes away food particles in the mouth, and diminishes some of the adverse effects of eating sugary or acidic foods.
  • Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and vegetables add fiber and extra nutrients to your bones. Crunchy vegetables are an excellent way to get those jaws working and staying strong.
  • Sugar. The plaque bacteria4 in your mouth turns sugar into acids that break down the hard tooth enamel protecting your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
  • Acidic food. Foods with high acid content such as citrus fruits, coffee, tea, and soda can also wear away tooth enamel and leave your smile susceptible to cavities and tooth sensitivity.
  • Smoking. Smoking doubles the likelihood of gum disease5. The number of cigarettes smoked each day and the number of years significantly increase your chances.

Being aware of how your environment affects your tooth health can help you limit habits that are hard on your teeth. After eating sugary, sticky foods, add in some extra brushing so harmful substances don’t sit on your teeth for an extended period of time.

Time for a checkup? Contact us today to schedule a cleaning with one of our caring dental professionals. 

Good Oral Health = Better Overall Health

While your oral care routine may not be something you think about all the time, setting up good habits and paying attention to signs of unhealthy teeth can lead to a better quality of life6.

The mouth leads to the digestive and respiratory tracts. Infections in the mouth can turn into infections and diseases in other parts of the body, including the heart or lungs. Periodontal disease can even cause premature births and low birth weight in babies7.

While oral hygiene may seem like a small aspect of your routine, keeping your teeth healthy is important to your overall well-being. Get those daily habits in place so you can enjoy bright, healthy, pearly whites into the New Year and beyond!

married couple flossing their teeth to maintain good oral health

1Salinas, Thomas J. (7 October 2021). When and how often should you brush your teeth? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on 15 December 2021.
2American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). (31 August 2020). Why Do Straight Teeth Matter? Retrieved on 15 December 2021.
3Oral Health Foundation. Electric toothbrushes win the head-to-head against manual in record breaking new study. Retrieved on 15 December 2021.
4Mouth Healthy. Top 9 Foods That Damage Your Teeth. American Dental Association (ADA). Retrieved on 15 December 2021.
5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (15 February 2021). Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss. Retrieved on 15 December 2021.
6Mayo Clinic. (28 October 2021). Oral health: A window to your overall health. Retrieved on 15 December 2021.
7Haerian-Ardakani, Ahmad et al. Relationship between maternal periodontal disease and low birth weight babies. Iranian journal of reproductive medicine vol. 11,8 (2013): 625-30. Retrieved on 15 December 2021.

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About the Author

Dentists in Las Vegas and Reno

Absolute Dental

Absolute Dental started in the Las Vegas valley with a single office and has been providing industry-leading dental care to our communities ever since.

Now at more than 30 offices across Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks, and Carson City and growing, we remain committed to offering quality affordable dental care and patient education while providing a relaxing and comfortable experience for your entire family, from the young to the young at heart.

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