Happy holidays from the team here at Spath Dentistry! It’s time for some good ol’ gift giving, sweet lovin’ family time and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve even begun to discuss our New Year’s Resolutions at the office.
Here are five resolutions for the new year we think will keep your mouth happy.
Limit Sugar Intake
What! Limit sugar? But the delicious holiday treats! Don’t worry. We’re not saying oust all sugar from your diet. Just cut back and be conscious about it. BMC Public Health believes there’s a clear connection between sugar and tooth decay. And unfortunately, tooth decay is the leading cause of tooth loss, especially amongst the younger demographic. Reducing your sugar intake is a gradual process. Substitute kombucha or sparkling water for soda. Only eat dessert after dinner. Chew sugarless gum. Rationing desserts can be tough, but it definitely beats a future of missing teeth and a lifetime of voluminous dental care.
Floss the Before Bed
My grandparents reminded me of this all the time as a kid. Although brushing twice daily is an excellent start, toothbrushes do not completely remove all plaque from between your teeth. Making it a habit to floss once daily will not only improve your smile and overall health, but you will greatly decrease extensive dental care in your future. Why, might you ask? Simple. Plaque is not a friend to your mouth. It contains a bacteria that feeds on leftover food and sugars stuck between teeth. Over time, the bacteria begin to release an acid that slowly eat away the outer shell of your teeth. This is the cause of cavities. If plaque remains for a long period of time, it turns into a hard substance called tartar and can eventually be the root of gum disease. Once plaque has reached this stage, it can only be removed by a dentist.
Consider Fixing Bite Irregularities
Many of us have grown up with an irregular bite. Misalignments in our teeth lower self-esteem and can lead to a lifetime of oral discomfort. Colgate estimates nearly fifty percent of new orthodontic patients are adults these days. That’s because modern methods for straightening teeth have become easy and discreet. While braces are a traditional procedure with a proven track record, a new and exciting technique is becoming a popular choice: Invisalign. They’re made of a clear plastic that can be easily removed to eat or brush teeth. Although orthodontics are an extensive endeavor, they will lead to a healthy smile and vastly reduce future dental bills.
Nicotine No More
Your mouth is constantly shedding layers and heals extremely fast when injured. However, smoking debilitates your immune system and makes it difficult for your mouth to actually heal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study stating constant use of tobacco products doubles your risk of gum disease. Gum disease weakens the bone structures holding your teeth in place, eventually causing gums to pull away and teeth to fall out. Like reducing your sugar intake, quitting smoking is a slow, moderate process. It is important to find support from friends and family and healthy alternatives when the cravings begin. In addition to the numerous online sources to help and spark ideas, your general practitioner will happily assist in any way possible.
Visit Your Dentist
Don’t think of this one as just another advertisement from our office. Although we love cleaning your teeth, we cannot stress the importance of your dental visits. The American Dental Association estimates roughly a third of Americans do not visit a dentist every six months. So challenge number one: give us a call and schedule a check up.
We are not naive, it’s a busy time of year! But if you wait until after the first of the year to call, you may have to wait a few months before an available time. There is a good chance your health plan’s deductible will reset the first of the year, making it a prime time to clean your teeth. When you do make it in, schedule the next appointment before you leave our office. We’ll send you a reminder so you don’t have to think about it.