Happy New Year! What do you think of when you hear the words “New Year”? The first things that come to my mind are new starts, new beginnings, a renewed mindset, and good starting point to a new you. There’s just a freshness about a new year that is hard to put into words. Most of us make (and break) New Year’s resolutions every January and this year is no different. But instead of making the same old resolutions (weight loss anyone?), why not make resolutions that are easy to follow through on and less likely to be broken half way through January? Here are some resolutions you can make to better your oral health as we kick this New Year off.
COMMIT TO FLOSSING.
You may already brush your teeth twice a day which is great. However, it simply isn’t enough. If you’re not already in the habit of flossing every day, what better time to start than the present? Flossing daily will help to prevent a buildup of plaque, gingivitis, and tooth decay. It will also give you the opportunity to take a closer look at your mouth – your teeth and your gums – and know if something isn’t right. You can integrate this new habit into your schedule by rehoming your floss from the bottom bin in your vanity to a more visible place right next to your toothbrush. I know for me that I’m ten times more likely to follow through on something if it’s staring me in the face. What’s that saying? Out of sight, out of mind. The same applies to flossing. Keep it out and visible as a daily reminder to floss.
SCHEDULE YOUR DENTAL APPOINTMENTS.
I know more than anyone that life is busy and full and time is a very precious commodity, trust me. However, I also know that most dentist offices have Saturday and evening appointments available. Treat yourself (and your mouth) to a dental cleaning this year. Most insurances will cover two dental cleanings per year so why not take advantage of that benefit? No insurance? No problem! Ask about our Care to Smile program. Going to regular dental cleanings will only benefit your health. Your hygienist and dentist can detect early signs of possible problems such as cavities, broken fillings, gum disease, etc. Want to take it a step further and make this even easier on yourself (and your schedule)? Make your next appointment before you even leave the office. That way it’s on your calendar, you aren’t scrambling to try to fit it in your already hectic schedule, and you can plan your days around your appointment instead of the other way around for a change.
QUIT THE HABIT.
It’s something you’ve been considering and tossing around for a while now but there never seems to be a “good” time to put it into action. You know what I’m talking about, your dirty little secret. The habit that you know isn’t healthy or good for you in many areas of your life, but is one of the hardest habits to break – smoking. I get it, I understand. I was a smoker for many years until I decided to take my life in my own hands and get healthy, step by step. The hardest step was to quit smoking. But I did it and so can you! Smoking and tobacco can attribute to all sorts of oral health problems such as stained teeth, bad breath, oral cancer, and gum disease. Resolve to quit this year for the benefit of your overall health.
KICK SUGAR TO THE CURB.
This is another big one. Are you a big soda drinker? It’s time to cut back. I’m not suggesting that you can never have a soda ever again. Everything in moderation is okay. But those cokes you drink like they’re going out of style? It’s time to stop that habit dead in its tracks. The bacteria in sugar weakens your teeth which results in cavities. When you do decide to treat yourself to a soda, try to drink it through a straw so that the sugar isn’t directly hitting your teeth. Try to wash it down with water to help wash the sugar away. Set up limits and boundaries for yourself. This doesn’t have to be a punishment or something you remove from your life completely. Have a coke once a week or once every two weeks. Not only will your teeth thank you for it, but I bet you’ll actually appreciate your drink of choice more when you do allow yourself to have it.
Let this be the new year that you make resolutions that are easy and simple enough to follow through on and carry out throughout the year. Start by giving our office a call to set up your appointment: Charmoy Dental (973)584-0008 and kick this year off right.