Unless one of your resolutions for the New Year is to avoid procrastination, you may still be working on your list for 2019. We hope you’ll consider making some to improve your dental health. We’ve provided a list of eight suggested dental health resolutions for you to consider.
Unlike going to the gym, most of them are pretty easy. They just involve forming regular habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Bonus: Several of our suggestions are good for your overall health too! If you have any questions for us or would like to schedule your first appointment of the year, call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423.
Kick Your Tobacco Habit
We’ll join your physician in recommending you give up smoking and other tobacco usage. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco do a real number on your teeth. They:
- Increase your risk of oral cancers
- Can cause gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults
- Stain your teeth, so your smile won’t look as white as it should
Protect Teeth With a Custom Mouthguard
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), up to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related. While we can repair damaged teeth or replace missing ones, that can get expensive. It’s better to prevent dental injuries before they can happen, by wearing a custom-made athletic mouthguard. It’s made using impressions of your teeth, so it fits you perfectly. Since it fits better than a store-bought mouthguard, you’ll be more likely to actually wear it.
If you’ve got a teeth grinding habit, we can also make you a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and even prevent the jaw pain and headaches that can result from grinding.
Prepare for a Dental Emergency
In dental emergencies, sometimes minutes count. The best way to handle one is to prepare for it ahead of time. It’s a good idea to assemble a dental emergency kit with items like sterile gauze, dental wax, and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. At the very least, program our number into your smartphone. It’ll be easier to see us ASAP if you don’t have to search for our number.
Modify Your Snack Habits
If you snack often, try to avoid sugary and/or starchy foods as much as possible. Substitute healthier choices such as cheese sticks, yogurt, or nuts. Fruits high in fiber like an apple are also good, as they can act like a natural toothbrush. If you do want a sugary or starchy treat, try to make it part of a larger meal. Brush your teeth afterward, if possible.
Avoid Sugary Drinks Like Soda
Sugary drinks are terrible for your teeth. They’re especially damaging if you sip on them all day – instead of, say, enjoying a glass of soda with lunch. They contain lots of sugar as well as acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Be careful of sugars in beverages like fruit juices and sports drinks. Nutritionally, they are better for you than soda – but they can do a lot of dental damage too. Water is always your best choice.
Improve Your Brushing Habits
Most of us could stand to improve our brushing habits. Two common problems are not brushing long enough and using too much pressure. Brush at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Use a timer, at least until you develop a good sense of how long two minutes is while brushing. Always use a soft-bristled brush and don’t brush too hard. Overly aggressive brushing can damage tooth enamel.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Just use your teeth for eating and for smiling – NOT for opening packages, chewing on pens, or similar tasks. Crunching on ice is an especially bad habit that can damage your teeth.
Keep Your Dental Appointments
See us twice a year for dental exams and cleanings. We know it can be tough fitting them into a busy calendar, but we make it as easy as we can by offering hours as early as 7:30 a.m. and Friday appointments.
Let us help you make 2019 a great year for dental health! Call us at 334-600-1423 if you need to schedule an exam or other appointment.