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Now that the Holidays are over you are probably starting to focus on the goals and Healthy Teethresolutions you have set for the New Year. We like to take this opportunity to encourage you to make some teeth-healthy resolutions as you go in 2013! Here are a few of our recommendations.

Brush regularly. At the very least brush your teeth when you first get out of bed and then again before you get back in bed at night. These are the two most crucial times, says Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., an internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart. This is because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it is best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep.

Floss your teeth at least daily. Flossing is something many people only do twice a year, before their dental checkups. However, flossing is very important in reducing the buildup of plaque and helps prevent gingivitis. Make it convenient by buying several packages of floss and scatter them in your car, your desk, your purse, your briefcase, your nightstand.

Keep your mouth fresh. To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while it’s still wet. If you smell something, maybe it’s time for a piece of sugar-free gum. Also, drink more water. Consider the possibility of replacing that second cup of coffee with water. Water helps to hydrate and cleanses your mouth.

Make an appointment. Most experts recommend a dental check-up every 6 months — more often if you have problems like gum disease. During a routine exam, your dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque build-up that you can’t brush or floss away. This is also a good time to catch any other problems early, before they become a bigger problem.

The New Year is always a good time to reflect on your habits and goals. Your oral health is a great place to start. It is linked to your overall health.. So why not resolve to have a healthier mouth in the coming year?

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