Improve your oral health routine this year
Many of us see the New Year as an opportunity to make positive changes and to improve our general health and well-being. Although we’re all individuals and entitled to our own personal goals, every one of us benefits from having a healthy mouth and investing a little time and energy into our oral health.
Oral health practices rely on repetition and frequency, in the same way that many health-related routines do. It is this daily attention to our teeth and gums which makes all the difference in reducing the risk of developing problems.
Along with this, regular dental check-ups, every 6-12 months, help to identify early problems before they become more complex, especially as we age. Booking regular check-ups is also a great way to support overall good health and keep us on track throughout the year.
Improve your oral health with our 10 New Year resolutions
- Make it easy to care well for your teeth. Arrange your bathroom and vanity so your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss are in plain sight. Stock up on tooth cleaning supplies if you use more than one bathroom. You’re less likely to leave brushing ‘until later’ if everything you need is close.
- Brush your teeth at least twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste. Buy yourself a new toothbrush for the New Year and choose one with soft bristles and a small head. Brush your tongue as well, by using either your brush or a tongue scraper.
- Floss in between your teeth at least once each day. A great time to do this will be just before you go to bed. Be gentle as you guide the floss between your teeth and avoid ‘snapping’ the floss into place.
- Make an appointment to see your dentist every 6 months. Book a check-up and mark it in your calendar. While you’re there, speak with your dentist about your brushing and flossing technique and don’t forget to book your next appointment before you forget.
- Make a decision to stop smoking or vaping. Each is damaging to oral and general health and the New Year is a great time to make changes.
- Try to cut back on sweet drinks like soft drinks, cordial, energy drinks and juice. These all contain sugar which increases the risk of tooth decay. Drink water instead, preferably fluoridated – check with your local Council.
- Review your stress management habits and make positive changes. Many dentists are reporting that they’re seeing increased numbers of patients who are clenching and grinding their teeth because of stress. Custom-made mouthguards help to stop tooth damage from this unconscious habit.
- Stop using your teeth as tools, especially if you’re in the habit of opening packets with your teeth or using your teeth to hold something when your hands are full. Each tooth is precious and when one is lost or damaged from an undue force, there’s a flow-on effect on the other teeth.
- Create a new habit of always rinsing your mouth with plain water after drinking tea and coffee. This will help to prevent your teeth from becoming stained. Speak with your dentist about teeth whitening options if you’d like a whiter smile.
- Make a deal with yourself that you will stick with your new oral health regime. Like other habits, it can take a couple of weeks for new routines to become established.
So, book an appointment and start the New Year off with a plan to look after your mouth as it deserves to be cared for.