New years resolutions are always easier said than done. Actually sticking to your resolutions can be tricky, but the secret is to make small, manageable changes instead of one big change. If you want to take better care of your teeth and gums this year, just follow these four steps and you’ll notice an improvement in no time!
1. Book a dental checkup – TODAY.
If it’s been a long time since you’ve last seen your dentist, you’re not the only one. Booking in with your dentist and having them check your teeth might give you that motivational boost you need. It might be that your oral health isn’t as bad as you had originally thought, and those bright beautiful teeth may be achieved in just a few appointments!
In saying that, even if your teeth seem to be in good nick you should still have regular checkups. There are some oral conditions that aren’t detectable, and your dentist can take x-rays that will pick up any issues that you can’t see with the naked eye (such as deep cavities, cracks or signs of oral cancer).
2. Reduce your sugar intake
Small switches, such as drinking soda water instead of lemonade, or just having half a spoon of sugar instead of two spoons of sugar with your morning coffee will make all the difference. Oral bacteria use sugar as a source of energy, therefore reducing the amount of energy available to them will reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. Less plaque means fewer tooth cavities, which means fewer fillings at the dentist! Not only is it better for your teeth, but reducing your intake of sugars will also be better for your overall health in the long run.
3. Commit to flossing every day
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: brushing your teeth twice a day simply isn’t enough in preventing plaque from building up on your teeth. Bacteria are microscopic so they have no difficulties in hiding inside and between your teeth – places that your toothbrush simply can’t get to. You only need to floss once a day and it takes just a minute of your time. Make it a habit, and soon enough you’ll be reaching for that floss every night without even thinking about it. Maintaining a regular flossing habit will reduce bad breath, plaque, and will significantly improve your oral health!
4. Cut back on smoking
We know that smoking will be the hardest habit to kick, but it is a big one. Smoking doubles your risk for gum disease amongst a whole range of other health issues. The recommended way to start quitting is by smoking one less cigarette every day, reducing that number each week until you no longer feel the need to smoke. Once you start getting to this stage, it would be a good idea to throw away all tobacco products in your house and ask friends and family to help support your quitting. There will be cravings, but the recommended way to get around this is to do activities that distract you, such as chewing on some sugar-less gum or going for a walk. If you are really struggling, it’s recommended to visit your GP.
Take things one step at a time, and if you forget to floss one day or eat a big piece of sugary cake it’s fine. Tomorrow is another day and you can always start again. Nothing worthwhile ever came simple, so don’t give up!
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