Happy new year from all of us at 123 Dentist. The holidays have come to a close, yet winter remains for another 2-3 months. It’s the perfect time for reflection at another year gone by and making resolutions for the one to come. Self improvement is a great way to make these cold winter nights a little bit brighter after all. Maybe you’re finally ready to quit that bad habit or you’re planning that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Every year brings new resolutions and this year 123 Dentist clinics want to encourage you to make 2015 the year of improving your dental health.
There are a ton of ways you can improve your smile if you stop to think about it. The trick to making your teeth healthy is not necessarily expensive dental work, unless of course you already have a dental problem that needs addressing. The very first step is a consultation with your local 123 Dentist. A hygiene appointment and x-rays are affordable and serve as an excellent starting point. You can talk to your hygienist about a customized treatment plan at home, too!
7. Brush More Often
Brushing your teeth is crucial to good dental care. Professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. When making your resolution, brushing more might seem daunting, but there are a couple things you can do to keep your schedule. And don’t forget to keep your family brushing regularly too, especially from an early age.
As noted in a previous blog, a Philips or Oral-B brand electric brush are the best option, and the cost is reduced when you share a brush with a partner or family with interchangeable heads. There are still plenty of good sales out there to make getting a new brush both easy and affordable.
You may also consider a travel toothbrush for your office or work to keep your brushing routine regular. The trick to making a regular brushing schedule stick is set reminders for yourself the first few weeks on your phone or watch. Hopefully after a few weeks of practice, brushing two to three times a day will feel like second nature.
6. Floss Every Day
No matter your age, flossing once each and every day is the BEST way to insure a healthy smile. Dental floss is stronger and easier to use than ever, and there are flossing aides like flossing picks and Waterpik available as alternatives if you find it difficult to start. If you haven’t flossed in a while, you might find it cumbersome or even painful to the point of it causing your gums to bleed. This is normal, for a time, however if bleeding continues more than a week or two you probably have gingivitis and should consult with your 123 Dentist.
5. Eat (& Drink) Better
The most popular resolution each year is diet. We all want to look better, improve our physical appearance and become healthier. Your oral health effects the rest of your body and your appearance, and yet it is often forgotten when it comes to eating habits. Sure, we know sugar is bad and vegetables are good, but are you making sure you brush every time you drink a sugary drink or stain your teeth with coffee or red wine?
Avoiding certain food and drink in your diet isn’t the only thing you can do. Eating those vegetables, nuts, fruits and other foods with antioxidants helps to reduce inflammation and fight bacteria that can lead to gum disease. They also help with nutrition in most diets, as to not get in the way of shedding those extra pounds. Think of it as one more reason to get healthy this year!
4. Curb Bad Habits
Nervous habits and addictions are bad for your teeth. Smoking for instance will stain your teeth, damage your gums and can cause oral cancer, and that’s just for starters. Coffee addicts will notice considerable staining to their teeth over time and if you chew your nails or lips you might find yourself with sores, increased risk of infection and damage to enamel.
Breaking a habit is always an uphill battle, but there’s no better time than the start of the new year. If you needed one more reason to drop the cigarettes, cut back on caffeine or find other ways to keep your hands busy and out of your mouth, your dental health is it. Cigarettes in particular will be the biggest challenge, and you can speak to your dentist for suggestions on breaking the chemical dependency over time. Dental friendly chewing gum is a great place to start in most cases.
3. Get Your VELscope Screening
Our dentists recommend an annual check-up for oral cancer. Every year thousands of Canadians die from oral cancer and most of those cases are treatable if found early. Now we have a new tool in early diagnoses that is safe and painless. Through shining a blue laser into the mouth, hygienists are able to check for bumps and inflamation that may be an early sign of cancer. Oral cancer is on the rise due to HPV or the human papillomavirus. Screening only needs to be conducted annually but at the very least be sure to ask for a screening every few visits to the dentist.
2. Set a Schedule
What is the single most important step in making dental health as a resolution stick? Sticking to the schedule of course. Not only do you need to set a personal, daily schedule for yourself and your family, but you’ll also need to set a schedule with your dentist. Every patient has different dental needs, but the average, healthy person should see the dentist for cleaning and an exam every 6 months, regardless of age.
Seeing a dentist regularly for smaller, routine care has proven to be more cost effective than waiting for restorative care. It’s especially worth considering a set schedule with your dentist if you have insurance benefits of some kind or if you are nervous about fillings or root canals. With a regular cleaning schedule at home that involves flossing, brushing and a healthy diet, visiting your dentist AT LEAST once a year is the final and crucial piece to a perfect smile.
Many 123 Dentist clinics also offer FREE whitening promotions with regular check-ups, so enquire with your clinic and check their website for the most current information.
1. Smile More
It might seem simple, but we don’t smile enough. Maybe you don’t smile because you’re shy or because you are self conscious about your teeth. Maybe, like most of us, you don’t really remember to do it until it’s too late. Studies have shown how positive a smile can be on you and those around you. Smiling can improve productivity, energy and atmosphere at work. It can make shopping easier, and it can lead to social interaction you had closed yourself off to. In Vancouver we get a lot of flack for not being a very social city, but if everyone made it their resolution to smile more, we could change that together.
123 Dentist alone cannot bring smiles to everyone in Vancouver, but that won’t stop us from trying to make it easier for you. We can turn that frown upside down and repair your teeth so you’ll be proud to smile. And once you realize the power of a toothy grin, you’ll want to make dental care your new year’s resolution too!