As the new year approaches, resolutions are at the forefront of many people’s minds. After all, a new year is the chance for a fresh start. A common focus of many resolutions is self-improvement, often in the form of making healthier choices. What’s often not considered, however, are the improvements most people can make in their day-to-day oral health. By resolving to make oral health a priority in the new year, you can actually improve your overall health as a result. The good news is, oral health resolutions don’t typically require major lifestyle changes, which means you’re much more likely to follow through with them. Not sure what to resolve for the new year? Consider the following suggestions:
Schedule that long overdue appointment. If you’ve been avoiding the dentist for the past few years, it’s time to make your first resolution: pick up the phone and schedule a dental check-up and cleaning. Practicing good oral hygiene at home isn’t enough to ensure the health of your smile. That’s because a professional cleaning at the dentist’s office can remove plaque build-up that brushing at home simply can’t touch. Additionally, regularly scheduled dental exams can help identify any oral health concerns early on– before they become major concerns that require extensive restorative treatment.
Floss every day. One of the simplest yet most effective resolutions you can make concerning your oral health is resolving to floss every single day. Many people think that they’re doing a good job if they remember to brush their teeth twice a day. And while brushing is extremely important, it’s simply not enough to protect the teeth from decay. That’s because food particles often get stuck in the spaces between the teeth where toothbrushes are unable to reach. Flossing daily helps to remove these particles, thereby protecting your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria that can lead to decay and gum disease.
Follow the two minute rule. The new year is the perfect time to resolve to improve your brushing technique. Yes, it’s important to brush twice a day– when you wake up in the morning and before you retire to bed at night. However, it’s equally important to brush effectively. A large part of effective brushing is making sure that you brush for two full minutes– something most people neglect to do. To help you accomplish this goal, consider setting a timer while you brush. You might also consider dividing your mouth into quadrants so that you spend an ample amount of time focusing on each area of your mouth.
Just say no. One of the most important resolutions you can make for both your oral health and your overall health is to say no to any type of tobacco product in the new year. The long-term effects of cigarette smoking on the body have been well documented; smoking leads to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. If those reasons alone aren’t enough to encourage you to kick your smoking habit, consider the effects tobacco– including smokeless tobacco– has on your oral health. Smokeless tobacco greatly increases the risk of oral cancers– including cancers of the cheeks and gums. Cigarette smoking leads to an increased risk of gum disease and tooth loss.
By making these simple changes to your everyday routine, you’ll be helping to protect your smile from decay, gum disease, and other oral health perils. An added bonus is that you’ll also be improving your body’s overall health as a result, as oral health and overall health are closely related. Contact us today to learn how we can help ensure that your resolutions become reality.