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New Years Resolutions are a tradition at my house. Every December 31st my wife and I sit down and discuss what we would like to accomplish during the New Year. To my surprise one of my wife’s resolutions was to floss more. I suppose ‘surprise’ is a strong word, but she had just rattled off about 15 resolutions before that and I was getting a bit bored.

I asked her why she would want to floss more (obvious reasons aside). She said she wanted to have a brighter smile.

Hello blog idea!

Here are the Top 5 New Years Resolutions that will lead to a brighter smile:

  1. Brush your teeth, CORRECTLY!

Brushing your teeth seems simple, right? Well, most people are doing it wrong. You should brush your teeth 2 to 3 times a day for at least two minutes, each time. Pay attention to the back teeth and brush your tongue. Use a whitening toothpaste to help get an extra shine.

Another tip: if you plan to brush right after a meal, rinse your mouth out with water first. Some foods high in acid will leave a residue on your teeth and brushing without rinsing will scrape enamel away.

  1. Floss

Once again, seems pretty simple. But most people don’t do it enough (including my wife… I hope she doesn’t read this). Flossing will help remove plaque and keep cavities away.

  1. Eat Right

Yes, a brighter smile can be achieved just by choosing the right foods. Eat green veggies high in minerals like broccoli, spinach and kale. This will help strengthen the enamel on your teeth and help protect against stains. Also, stay away from sodas and other high sugar drinks. These beverages contain high levels of acid that can strip teeth of enamel.

If you are a coffee or tea drinker try adding a splash of cream or milk – “It changes the chemistry of the beverage, which makes it much more difficult for stains to adhere to the tooth’s surface.” –10 Natural Ways to Get (or Fake) Whiter Teeth by Amanda Greene

  1. At-Home Whitening

These can include anything from whitening stripes to gels you paint onto your teeth. Most of these whitening kits contain carbamide peroxide, which acts as a bleach to remove stains. It can take two to three weeks to see noticeable results using these products. Of course there can be some side effects to these treatments like, increased tooth sensitivity and irritated gums. You should consult your dentist before starting an at-home whitening regiment.

  1. See Your Dentist

Your dentist will have the strongest whitening products available. Everything from customized gel trays for your mouth to lasers that will whiten your teeth. They can be pricey but you’ll have dramatic results in much less time.

Any way you decide to whiten your teeth, you should talk to your dentist first. They will give you the best plan for your smile!