Yes, it’s that time of year, the time to make New Year’s resolutions. And, yes, we’re going to offer you some you should make regarding your dental health.
Will you follow our suggestions? Quite possibly. Will you keep these resolutions if you make them? Quite probably not! Still, trying is better than not trying, and if you follow the four resolutions listed below for at least 30 days, you very well may be able to say to friends and family in mid-February, “Why, yes, I did keep my New Year’s resolutions, thank you very much!”
And then smile broadly and show off those beautiful and healthy teeth your kept resolutions are helping you protect.
1. I resolve to brush and floss my teeth at least twice a day (brushing) and once a day (flossing).
This is perhaps the easiest, quickest and best way for you to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It takes just two minutes or so each morning and evening. It’s inexpensive (toothpaste and floss should last for weeks at a cost of less than $10 for the two of them), and it’s easy to do.
Brushing and flossing is critical to good oral health because brushing and flossing removes the plaque (a film of bacteria that grows on your teeth) from on and between your teeth that if left alone eventually will cause cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste also is important because fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to decay and helps remineralize (build up) your teeth.
2. I resolve to visit my dentist at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning and checkup.
You should do this even if you brush/floss your teeth religiously because even brushing/flossing simply can’t remove all of the plaque from your teeth. Visiting your dentist for a regular cleaning also allows your dentist to check for any issues that may have cropped up between visits.
3. I have real anxiety about visiting my dentist, so I resolve to speak to him about the different ways he can help relieve my stress and fear.
Most people who fear the dentist do so because they are worried a procedure will be painful. Others become stressed because they are worried an anesthesia may not work. Still others are just plain afraid of the needle that injects pain medication.
There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if this is you: between nine and 20 percent of Americans have some anxiety or fear regarding the dentist.
Because so many people are anxious or downright panicked about visiting a dentist, modern dentistry has come up with many ways to make sure you feel no pain at all while undergoing any procedure. The best way to alleviate your worry is to speak to your dentist and let him know about your specific fears so that he can work with you to find the best ways to make your more comfortable and less anxious.
If you’re really serious about your oral health, consider this last resolution:
4. I resolve to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
Smoking can make you twice as susceptible to tooth loss than your non-smoking friends and family members. Smoking and tobacco chewing can do a big number on your oral health: smoking/chewing tobacco can result in cavities, discolored teeth, gum loss, gum disease, and throat, lung and oral cancer.
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Finally, one of the best resolutions that you can make for healthy teeth in 2016 is keeping twice yearly dental checkups with OC Dental. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis helps you stay on top of any dental issues that do arise before they become serious.