‘New year, new you.’ We hear this phrase a lot around the beginning of a new year, and for good reason! The start of 2017 presents a clean slate and another chance to kick off the year on the right note.
Whether you intend to make strides financially or to improve your health and diet, we wish you the best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions. One particular resolution we’d like to encourage our patients to consider is a dental resolution. Making small changes in your habits or dental care routine can make a world of difference for the health of your smile.
Unsure about what dental resolution to make for 2017? Dr. Dale Spadafora shares some of the most effective and simple commitments you can make to your dental health in the new year.
Top Five Dental Resolutions For 2017
Before committing to a resolution, we suggest choosing a goal that is realistic and attainable. According to a study from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people will be successful in achieving their resolution for the new year. Often times people fail because their goals are too big or too vague.
For example, choosing to achieve a healthier smile in 2017 is a large goal that is unspecific. Instead, try focusing on smaller goals that move towards the larger goal. In this particular instance, to have a healthier smile in the coming year your goal would be going to the dentist for regular cleanings or being more vigilant about flossing. These smaller goals are realistic, easier to track and end up helping you reach your larger goal.
Great goals to focus on for a healthier smile in 2017 include:
1. Floss Each Day
Do you shy away when your dentist asks how frequently you floss? Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of not flossing as much as we should. According to a survey from Delta Dental, only 4 out of 10 Americans floss at least once a day.
Flossing is one of the most underrated tools for improving your oral health. Bacteria and plaque can easily hide away in between the teeth and in other hard-to-reach areas. Diligently flossing each day can dramatically decrease your chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
2. Brushing Properly
Although brushing habits are far better than flossing, many patients can still struggle to brush efficiently. Ideally, patients should brush for at least two minutes using gentle circular motions. Brushing for the full two will remove plaque from each side of every tooth in the mouth.
gentle circular motions efficiently remove bacteria and plaque without harming the tooth. Using too much force on the tooth and gums can actually do more harm than good because you can end up scraping off the outer protective layer of the tooth, known as the tooth enamel
3. Limit Sugar Consumption
Limiting your sugar consumption can benefit you in a variety of ways. Not only will it benefit your overall health and waistline, but it also helps spare teeth the damage that a high-sugar diet can cause. When you consume a sugary food or beverage, the bacteria in your mouth metabolizes the sugar and creates acid as a by-product.
This acid will wear down the teeth and, after enough time, it can even erode away the enamel. After enamel erosion occurs, the likelihood of tooth fractures, decay, and gum disease is significantly higher.
4. Quit Tobacco Products
It goes without saying that cigarettes and other tobacco products are harmful to your health. However, many patients are surprised to find out just how deeply it affects their dental health. Tobacco products don’t just cause bad breath, also known as smoker’s breath. It also causes a range of other issues, including tooth discoloration, gum recession, gum disease, and more.
Your periodontal health is a particular concern to worry about if you frequently use tobacco products. Tobacco products slow down the production of saliva, causing dry mouth. Saliva is critical to your dental health because it helps to neutralize acids in the mouth and wash away excess food particles or bacteria.
These products will also harm your dental health because it restricts the blood flow to the gums, meaning it can inhibit your ability to fight off infections in the gums. On top of that, using tobacco products while you already have gum disease will worsen your condition or make it more difficult to treat.
5. Visit Your Dentist
If you don’t visit your dentist every 6 months, 2017 is the year to start making it a priority. Routine visits to the dentist can help treat any dental problems in their early stages, which will end up saving you a lot of time and money on extensive oral treatments.
At these routine appointments, your hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and spot any early signs of gum disease or tooth decay.
Contact Our Office In Hermitage
If you’re ready to start taking control of your dental health, contact our office today! We offer a range of dental services to best take care of your smile. Some of our dental services include cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, and TMJ therapy. Call our office in Hermitage to get started on your healthy smile for 2017!