Make oral health a New Year’s goal

Some form of “Be healthier” is a very common New Year’s resolution for millions of adults. While weight loss or hitting the gym more frequently are common goals, why not include your oral health in your resolutions as well? Your oral health is directly linked to your overall health, which means prioritizing dental care will boost your physical health and even your mental wellness too.

To achieve your smile goals this year, you’re going to need the right tools for a clean, healthy smile. Here’s the rundown on what you need in your ultimate oral care kit!

What You Need for a Fundamental Oral Hygiene Kit

How you care for your teeth at home has the most significant impact on your overall oral health. By practicing healthy oral care habits, including thorough flossing and brushing for a solid two minutes twice a day, you’ll be able to prevent most cavities from occurring and greatly reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

These are the must-have tools and products you can use at home to help you keep your smile clean and fresh.

Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

The ideal toothbrush should have a small, round or oval-shaped head to allow for easier maneuvering around teeth and reach the molars. Always use a soft-bristled brush, as firmer bristles can harm gums and enamel.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Toothpaste flavor and texture are up to you, but a product that contains fluoride and foams well is important for cavity prevention. Fluoride helps maintain strong tooth enamel, while a bubbly effect helps the toothpaste reach all the crevices between your teeth.

Dental Floss

String floss is very effective at cleaning between teeth. If you have a difficult time using string floss, consider trying flossers instead.


Any ADA-recommended mouthwash is appropriate. You may consider using an alcohol-free version if you tend to experience dry mouth or have composite dental restorations (i.e. crowns).

Tongue Scraper

Most bad-smelling bacteria live on the tongue. A simple tongue scraper is more effective than brushing the tongue and will help maintain fresh breath.

Level Up Your Main Kit with These Items

If you want a little more oomph in your ultimate dental care kit, here are four more items you might consider adding.

Powered Toothbrush

Great brushing habits combined with a powered toothbrush offer the most effective cleaning possible at home. This applies to powered brushes that have a rotating, oscillating action.

Water Flosser

Water flossers are kind to sensitive gums and also perform more effectively than string floss or flossers.

Interdental Cleaners

These tiny-bristled soft picks can be used in place of or in addition to your usual floss. They tend to be easier to use than string and really help support healthy gums.

Professional Whitening Products

If you love a white smile, your ultimate care kit might also include ADA-approved whitening products. We recommend using professional products as directed by your dentist. In fact, Dr. Lang even offers a free whitening kit to patients!

Protect Your Smile with an At-Home Dental Emergency Kit

There’s always a chance of an emergency occurring, and it’s often the case that emergencies seem to happen when we feel the most unprepared.

Having a dental emergency kit readily available in your home is just as important as a first aid kit. If a toothache or injury does happen, you’ll be able to help yourself or a family member remain comfortable or safe until help is available.

Sterile Gauze

Gauze is useful for applying topical medications and stopping bleeding. For dental emergencies, the smaller squares tend to be more useful.

Sterile Gloves

Having sterile latex or exam gloves available is useful for handling a knocked-out tooth or helping a family member with an oral injury.

Toothache Reliever

These topical store-bought toothaches gels are useful for reducing pain. Choose the option that seems best. Remember that toothaches should always be looked at by a dentist as soon as possible.

100% Pure Clove Oil

Clove oil is a natural toothache killer. Mix a drop of pure clove oil with the same amount of a carrier oil (coconut oil works great) and apply to the tooth.

Temporary Tooth Filling

Store-bought tooth filling “repair” kits can be used in an emergency situation in which a filling has fallen out. Follow the instructions on the box and seek out dental care as soon as possible.

Small Sterile Container

Keep a small, clean pill bottle or container on hand in the event an adult tooth is knocked out. Place the tooth in the container with milk or water to keep the tooth moist. Seek emergency dental care right away.

Achieve Optimal Oral Health with Regular Dental Care Visits

With your daily and emergency oral care kits at the ready, there are just two more things you should do this new year: see a dentist for routine dental appointments.

Professional Dental Cleanings

With skilled hands and precision tools, a dental hygienist is able to remove even the tiniest speck of plaque from between the tightness nooks and crannies in your teeth. Even if you’re a fastidious brushing with impeccable technique, at-home brushing can’t quite remove all the plaque a professional cleaning can. For this reason, it’s really important to see your dentist’s hygienist every six months for gum disease and cavity prevention.

Comprehensive Dental Exams

As with all forms of health care, preventive care is paramount, followed very closely by early, proactive treatment as needed. Comprehensive dental exams, when done every six months as recommended by Dr. Lang, are also a crucial step in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. These exams are also important for catching early warning signs of trouble before pain, infection, or enamel damage has a chance to hurt your smile.

By the way, when was your last visit to the dentist?

Make oral health a priority in the new year!

If you’re due for a cleaning or you’re interested in a smile makeover, Dr. Lang and the dental team are eager to assist. You can book an appointment by calling our Middletown, OH, office or filling out this request form.