New Year's Dental Resolutions

With the new year, many of us are making resolutions to eat better, lose weight, cut our stress level or just generally lead healthier and happier lives. But what about our teeth? Have you made any resolutions to give yourself a brighter and healthier smile in 2011? If not, here are a few suggestions of good habits to pick up in the new year.

1. Brush Twice a Day, Every Day – For most this is probably already a routine, and if so then you’re already on the road to great oral health. Not only does brushing twice a day help fight plaque and tooth decay, but there are also indications it may lead to other health benefits as well. It seems that there is a link between brushing twice a day and a reduced chance of heart disease, due to the fact that brushing reduces gum inflammation, which may be directly linked to clogged arteries. Who knew brushing your teeth could be so good for your heart!

2. Floss Daily – While many of us brush as recommended, flossing tends to slip through the cracks for many folks. That’s unfortunate, as quickly running that waxed piece of string between your teeth has numerous benefits. Most of all, flossing gets rid of food particles trapped between your teeth or under your gums and gets to all the places a toothbrush can’t reach. Even better, flossing also takes care of the nasty bacteria that cause bad breath, so you’ll never have to worry about such matters again.

3. Use Mouthwash – Like flossing, a daily rinse with mouthwash will help kill germs and other bacteria that your toothbrush can’t quite reach. Mouthwash also freshens breath and cuts down on plaque, providing further dental benefits. The one thing to be aware of is that if you have sensitive teeth you may not want to use brands such as Listerine which contain alcohol. These mouthwashes tend to dry out the mouth and aggravate sensitive teeth in such a way as to cause pain. If your teeth are too sensitive don’t worry, there are plenty of products out there which don’t use alcohol and are thus safe for touchy teeth.

4. Stop Smoking – A common resolution on its own, quitting smoking has the added benefit of not only improving overall health but also going a long way toward improving your smile. Not only do cigarettes cause yellowed teeth and bad breath, but can also lead to loss of teeth, periodontal disease and other adverse health effects. Switching to smokeless tobacco also isn’t a good idea, as it has been linked to various forms of mouth cancer. Cutting out this habit entirely will do a great deal to improve your oral health.

5. Visit the Dentist Twice a Year – While you can do plenty to improve and maintain oral hygiene in your own home, your teeth also need the professional touch of a dentist. We can diagnose and treat any potential diseases or other problems, as well as head of small issues before they turn into big ones. So go ahead and give us a call to schedule your appointment today, we’re always happy to see you!

Best of luck in fulfilling all your resolutions (dental and otherwise) in the new year!

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