New Year’s Resolutions abound. We agree that everybody should exercise more, eat a healthy diet and repair their relationships with family and friends. We also hope you’ll join us in making some Near Year’s Resolutions for your teeth. It’s a good time to put bad habits in the past and start with a clean slate.
So, from us to you, we hope you will take on these resolutions:
- If you haven’t been to the dentist in a little while or a long while, go NOW. You are not the only one who has put off dental care due to finances, fear or “life events”, but you will reap instantly better-looking and well-cared for teeth, and you will be on the path to better future oral health care when you partner with your dentist. It’s time to take action on all of those things you have been putting off, starting with your mouth.
- See your dentist regularly, twice a year for cleanings at a minimum. For those who put off cleanings, it doesn’t make things easier. Delayed teeth cleanings can lead to a deterioration, not just of teeth, but of gums, too. Then you will need to engage in a deep cleaning gum treatment, which is not painful, but takes a bit more time and needs to be done in multiple sittings.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and for at least 2 minutes at a time. You may not realize how little time you are spending with your toothbrush. Time yourself this week and begin to feel what 2 minutes feels like.
- Floss regularly. Flossing disturbs the particles between your teeth and allows toothbrushes and saliva to wash them away. And recent research indicates flossing saves lives!
- If something feels “not right” with your teeth (your bite feels different, you are more sensitive to hot or cold drinks or foods, you notice any swelling or ulcers), don’t put off seeing your dentist. Dental care delayed is never the best option.
- End your association with tobacco. We know that New Year’s is a time when we resolve to stay in touch with good friends. Tobacco is not your friend. Whether you are smoking or using smokeless tobacco (snuff), now is the time to “unfriend”. If it is any motivation to you, trust us when we tell you that mouth cancers can be hard to treat and intractable to cure.