Many of us take time with our families over the holidays to reflect on the year gone by and to make plans for the future with New Year’s resolutions.
Looking back over the past year, did it include a trip to a dentist? I hope so! Regular trips to the dentist can help avoid expensive (and painful) treatments that can be prevented.
Here are some tips to keep your mouth healthy in 2016:
Schedule your dental checkup – Even if you’re not having any dental problems, call your dentist to schedule an appointment for a check-up and even a professional clean.
Address any outstanding issues – Even if you are fastidious about oral care, you may have one particular issue, big or small, that just bothers you. It may be a chip or crack in your tooth, a gap between two of your teeth, an old filling, bad breath, or something else. Do not ignore it. See your regular dentist or if you don’t have one, one is just a click away at www.fillinggaps.co.nz.
Replace your tooth brush – Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months? Frayed and worn bristles are less effective at cleaning your teeth. Therefore, celebrating the new year with a brand new toothbrush is actually smart dental hygiene.
Brushing for two minutes, twice a day – Always brush twice a day for two minutes for healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and to avoid painful dental problems.
Commit to flossing – Most of us brush twice a day but often neglect to make flossing part of our daily routine. Just as you keep your toothbrush easily accessible on the bathroom counter, put the floss where you will see it when you brush your teeth. Flossing is an essential part of good oral care and it is never too late to start.
Use mouthwash – Enjoy the feeling of a clean, fresh mouth.
Stop smoking – Most of us know the health risks associated with smoking, but we may not be aware of the increased risk for gum disease.
Chew sugarless gum – Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.
Eat a healthy diet – Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacking.
Reduce your sugar intake – Reducing the amount of sugary foods and drinks you consume can reduce your risk for tooth decay. Start with easy substitutions like sugar-free gum and replace fizzy drinks with water. Add more dairy products and high-fiber foods to your diet. Your waistline will also benefit!
Drink fluoridated water – Fluoride helps prevent decay by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities.
Help kids achieve better oral care – With children or grandchildren, oral habits can slip; monitor them carefully and offer a refresher course when needed. Remember that small incentives, such as a fun toothbrush or flavored toothpaste, can do wonders when it comes to getting kids to brush.
Time for tooth whitening – After a cold winter of red wine and coffee drinking, tooth whitening is a great option for a whiter brighter smile. Tooth whitening, administered by a dental professional is safe and effective at expelling staining molecules from the tooth’s surface. Whitening can be performed at your dental practice as a one off treatment or as a take home product using custom made trays.
Smile more – It’s contagious! Your smile is unique to you; share it with family, friends, and everyone around you. Perhaps Lynda Andrews is onto something here: https://www.grownups.co.nz/keeps-the-doctor-away/
Today the most common resolutions have to do with health issues such as losing weight, exercising more, or eating healthy. Enjoy the new year and make dental health a priority in 2016! Why not take it a step further and think about those chompers in 2016, your smile will love you for it!