5 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Dental Health
It’s that time of year again! Time for our New Year’s Resolutions!
Did you know that over 45% of New Year’s Resolutions are either weight or health related? Your dental health is intimately tied to both of those. With a healthy dentition, you can chew food properly and comfortably, allowing you the ability to eat all of the foods that are in a nutritious diet, not just softer foods. By keeping your mouth healthy and free of dental infection, you’re contributing to your overall body health, as well. All good reasons to be sure your mouth is in excellent dental health!
Resolutions are more attainable if they’re specific and easily measured. For instance, if you want to lose weight, don’t just tell yourself, “I’m going to lose weight this year”. Instead, tell yourself, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year!” Then, take your goal and break it into small, attainable steps. For instance, you could set your goal to lose 3 lbs a month and meet your goal in time for those “summer” clothes!
Applying that same rationale to your dental health, if one of your Resolutions is to have a healthier mouth/prettier smile, here are some Resolutions/steps you can take to achieve that goal:
Brush TWICE a day for at least TWO MINUTES.
Many people don’t brush as well as they COULD brush. Oftentimes, we’re tired, or in a hurry, and rush through it without doing as good of a job as we could. If you have teeth that are a little crooked or that have spaces between back teeth that make them more difficult to reach/clean thoroughly, slow down and spend a little extra time cleaning those areas. You could be extending the life of that tooth for many years to come by doing so! Some electric toothbrushes even have built-in timers that buzz when it’s time to move to the next quadrant/section of your mouth- makes it easy! Start with one quadrant/section, brush for 30 seconds, then move to the next. It may feel like a long time at first, if you’re not used to brushing for two full minutes, but rest assured, you’ll quickly get to the point where your mouth just doesn’t FEEL clean unless you’ve really spent some time getting all the angles and spaces cleaned thoroughly. Try it!
Floss every day. Even if just once a day.
A LOT of people don’t floss regularly simply because they don’t really know HOW to floss effectively/correctly, so they don’t feel like it’s easy or like it’s doing any real good. If this sounds like you, Linda, our Hygienist is GREAT at teaching you the tips and tricks of easy and effective flossing. Don’t be intimidated! Ask her to demonstrate it for you at your next cleaning appointment. When you learn how to do it comfortably and thoroughly, you’re likely do it more!
Fix that tooth!
You know, the one you (already) know needs treatment! If you have a tooth (or teeth) that you already know needs treatment and have been “just waiting until… (fill in the blank)”, don’t put it off for a long time. This is never a good idea! Most dental problems are far easier and less expensive to take care of when they first appear. Sometimes, for larger treatment plans for slowly deteriorating situations, we may recommend “watching” a failing tooth or an area for a period of time, meanwhile having a game plan for what to do when it does eventually fail, so these typed of situations are handled a little differently. But in general, if there’s treatment you know a tooth needs, find a way to get it done sooner rather than later so it doesn’t turn into a mountain of a problem down the road. Also, it’s even more imperative in these types of situations that you stay on schedule with your routine cleanings and exams (and periodic x-rays, to really allow us to “watch” for any changes). (Another good reason for #4!)
Schedule your cleanings for this calendar year NOW
If you know you need to come every 4 or 6 months, make it a priority and put them all on the calendar now. Especially, if you are someone who needs your appointment to be at a certain time of day (like 7am) or on a certain day of the week. Prioritize your schedule and just get it booked! Then, you won’t have to think about it or remember to do it later!
If you’ve been thinking about major dental work, but putting it off for whatever reason, take the first step and find out what your OPTIONS are
, and how much each will cost/how long the course of treatment will take. Armed with information and options, you can begin to plan for the long course. Our consultations are complimentary. Dr. McFadden will work with you to the fullest extent possible, to help you review, choose, execute and finalize the treatment option that best suits you functionally, esthetically and financially. So, if you know you’ve got some big decisions ahead regarding extensive or esthetic treatment, get started with the basics and gather information so you can make a forward going plan.