As the new year begins, you might have a big list of resolutions or goals for what you want to accomplish. While some resolutions can be tricky, such as losing 20 pounds or giving up Netflix binges, others can be easier to accomplish. If you’re looking to improve your health and well-being, without too much fuss, one of the best resolutions you can make is to improve your dental health. Focus on one area that’s been a problem for you in the past, whether it’s eating too much sugar or skipping flossing, and make 2016 the year you finally start to do it.
Commit to Flossing
Flossing is the elephant in the room when it comes to dental health and hygiene. Few people actually enjoy flossing, and many are ready to tell their dentist a bit of a white lie when asked if they do it daily.
This year, resolve to be to look your dentist right in the eye at your next appointment and truthfully say that yes, you do floss daily. Remember that brushing your teeth only does part of the job. To get the plaque and other debris between your teeth and near your gums, you need to floss.
In some cases, flossing daily comes down to remembering to floss daily. If you find that you often forget to do it, put your container of floss in a spot where you can’t miss it. That can be right next to your toothbrush, so that you get in the habit of picking it up right after you finish brushing. It can also be right by your bed, so that you see it as you’re about to go to sleep or first thing in the morning.
Decide on Surgery
Admittedly, oral surgery tends to be something many people want to put off. In the case of removing your wisdom teeth, it might be the classic out of sight, out of mind. You can’t feel your wisdom teeth giving you any problems, so you might not see the value in scheduling surgery to take them out.
But, if your dentist has been recommending oral surgery to remove your wisdom teeth or for any other reason, 2016 is the perfect time to get serious about it. In many cases, the sooner you have the procedure performed, the better.
If you need help remembering to schedule your consultation for surgery, schedule a reminder into your phone. Have the reminder go off at a time when you know you won’t be busy, such as your lunch break, and have it repeat daily or weekly, until you finally book that appointment.
Replace Any Problem Teeth
Missing teeth or teeth that are severely damaged by gum disease or decay aren’t doing your smile any favors. If you’ve gotten in the habit of hiding your teeth or are embarrassed to smile because of a problem tooth, make this the year that you seriously consider implants. Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, they are permanently rooted to your jawbone and gums, so you don’t have to worry about removing them or losing them.
Give Up Unhealthy Habits
You might be thinking about kicking any number of unhealthy habits to the curb as 2016 gets going. Here’s one more reason to do so: it can improve your smile. Are you ready to give up smoking? Doing so won’t only reduce your risk for lung cancer and improve your breathing. It will also lower your risk for gum disease, improve your breath, and make your teeth less yellow.
If you have a sweet tooth, and are starting to see the negative effects of it, here’s one more reason to cut back on the candy or soda this year: sugar is the leading cause of cavities. The less sugar in your diet, the lower your risk for tooth decay. Along with giving up the sugar, you might want to focus on improving your overall diet. Some foods are better for the health of your teeth and gums than others. For example, dairy products contain enamel enhancing calcium, while crunchy vegetables help scrub your teeth clean.
Treat Any Issues
Make 2016 the year you finally treat or deal with any issues that have been affecting your teeth or dental health. For example, if you grind your teeth, and are beginning to see the effects of it, such as enamel wear or increased sensitivity, book an appointment with your dentist or doctor for early 2016 to learn more about how you can cope with it or grind your teeth less frequently.
Dr. John Paul Gallardo, Dr. William Lamas, and Dr. Juan Arroyo at the practice of Gallardo & Lamas hope your new year is off to a great start. If you’re ready to learn more about the ways you can improve your dental health this year, call (305) 447-1447 to schedule an appointment with the periodontists or oral surgeon.