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Kick off the new year with a healthy smile! Your 2024 guide to proactive oral health

(BPT) - Are you ready to take on the new year with healthier habits and a boost of confidence? Then, it's time to make your oral health a top priority! Not only does investing in your oral care create a healthy smile, but it can also improve your overall well-being. According to the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry, good oral health is a leading health indicator and is important for communication, human relationships and even financial prosperity.

If you want to be dentist-ready and feel your best in 2024, check out these five simple oral hygiene tips.

1. Consistency is key

The first step to a yearlong healthy smile is consistency. As your 2024 New Year's resolution, promise yourself to make and maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for a full two minutes, and pay attention to how you're brushing. Gently brush over your teeth and gums in a soft, circular motion.

2. Upgrade your oral health routine and toothpaste

Invest in your smile by upgrading your toothpaste and going to the dentist at least two times a year. Staying on top of your oral health routine and finding the right toothpaste can make a huge difference. Choose a toothpaste like Colgate Total Plaque Pro-Release, which offers long-lasting 24-hour antibacterial protection after two weeks of daily brushing.

The unique breakthrough formula penetrates hard-to-reach places to fight plaque bacteria along the gum line. It's clinically proven to significantly reduce harmful plaque bacteria associated with gingivitis and help you get ahead of oral health problems before they start.

3. Watch what you eat and drink

You're probably aware that sugary drinks and snacks can damage your smile, but acidic foods and drinks also pose a threat. According to the American Dental Association, products high in acids can wear away the enamel protecting teeth, making them vulnerable to cavity- and infection-causing bacteria. However, you don't have to say goodbye to acidic foods and drinks entirely. Instead, limit them in your diet and opt for alternatives to save your teeth from excessive wear and tear.

4. Hydrate to be great

Staying hydrated has so many positive health effects, including supporting a healthy smile. For example, drinking plenty of water helps maintain saliva production. Why is saliva important? Because it rinses away bacteria and neutralizes acids in your mouth. Saliva is your body's natural defense, so make sure you maintain a steady supply by hydrating.

5. Keep learning, keep smiling

When it comes to oral health, knowledge is power. Make sure to read the latest oral health tips so you can take an active role in your smile's health. For example, follow dental associations on social media so you can stay up to date on dental care recommendations. As recommendations change, you can adjust your oral care routine to better care for your smile.

Let 2024 be the year you double down on your oral health using these five tips. With a little time and care, you can be dentist-ready this year and beyond.

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